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Spanish bishop: transgendered person may not serve as godparent

July 28, 2015

A Spanish bishop has determined that a 21-year-old woman who identifies herself as a man may not serve as a godparent at the baptism of her nephew.

Bishop Rafael Zornoza Boy of Cádiz and Ceuta said that the parish priest was "kind and understanding" in conveying to Alex Salinas, a woman who plans to undergo a sex-change operation, that while she cannot serve as a baptismal sponsor because of canonical requirements that a sponsor live in accordance with the faith, she could spiritually encourage and help the child in living the faith.

"No one should be surprised if someone cannot be admitted" as a sponsor, "something that happens often," the bishop said.

Salinas said that the parish priest was initially receptive to having her be the child's godfather but later changed his mind after contacting the diocese, the Spanish news agency EFE reported.

A transgendered Spanish legislator called for a study of whether the diocese's decision violates national hate-crimes legislation, according to EFE.


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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: shrink - Jul. 28, 2015 4:14 PM ET USA

    This is the fist instance that I am aware where a bishop announces that trans-sex-gender is an impediment to a sacrament. Has anyone in the Church tackled the theological aspects of this?

  • Posted by: feedback - Jul. 28, 2015 8:17 AM ET USA

    I expect the media to be soon all over this case, and requests like that to multiply. A very clear response from Rome will be needed.