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.

This seems to me at least, to put a priest between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, an individual seeks (or their guardians seek for them) baptism, which for many Christians is a necessary (but not necessarily sufficient) condition for salvation. A priest would likely want to help provide it. On the other hand, it looks like the priest must also calculate if performing the sacrament would cause substantial confusion to other faithful Catholics, at which point it must be withheld and not performed.

But here I'm asking if this is the first time that Catholic priests have been asked to essentially do a public survey or evaluation of the community's views before deciding whether or not to baptise an individual.

Question: Is this the first time that "community standards" or similar criteria will factor into the decision of whether an individual can receive a Catholic baptism?



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