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This may not be the best source to quote, but The Guardian's November 11, 2023 Trans people can be baptised in church and be godparents, says Vatican (Vatican office adds there must be no ‘situations in which there is a risk of generating a public scandal’) contains the following:

The Vatican’s doctrinal office has said that transgender people can under certain circumstances be baptised in the Catholic church and serve as godparents in a statement that has been hailed as a “major step for trans inclusion”.

In a document approved last month by Pope Francis and published on Wednesday, the office noted that a transgender person, “even if they have undergone hormone therapy and sex-reassignment surgery, can receive baptism under the conditions as other faithful”.

The decision came with a caveat. Such baptisms were possible, it said, “if there are no situations in which there is a risk of generating a public scandal or confusion among the faithful”.

The link is to a document written in Italian which I can't read, so I'm relying on the English explanation in the article.

The realities of being a pope in the 21st century puts one (at least in my opinion) between a rock and a hard place - and at least superficially this seems like an impossible compromise. It looks like the Pope is saying that some folks can receive the sacrament of baptism unless it would cause confusion for the faithful.

I won't ask how one measures "confusion among the faithful" either in degree, or in distance (if one faithful person is confused by a proposed baptism on the opposite side of the Earth - that seems to be sub-threshold; not enough to justify withholding the sacrament).

But instead I will ask:

Question: What criteria must an individual meet to receive a Catholic baptism, how do they evolve with the individual's age, and how have they evolved since biblical times?

About the criteria's evolution with age: Since age is a continuous variable (we don't toggle between infant and adult) and I assume our ability to sin continuously "improves" with age, it seems hard to decide when someone's status changes from absolutely can be baptised to requiring scrutiny and approval before baptism. How is this done?

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