"I am the bread of life," Jesus told them. "Those who come to me will never be hungry; those who believe in me will never be thirsty." John 6:35
"I am telling you the truth: if you do not eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you will not have life in yourselves."
Hail Mary ...
The angel came to her and said, "Peace be with you! The Lord is with you and has greatly blessed you." Luke 1:28
Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and said in a loud voice, "You are the most blessed of all women, and blessed is the child you will bear." Luke 1:42-43
- Category: The Church
Report of the Catholic Church's position on baptism of transgender people
Recently, there has been a report claiming that the Catholic Church has decided to permit transgender people to be baptized and become godparents. I first read the report on graphic online website, titled "Trans people can be baptised in Catholic church and be godparents, says Vatican," through a link posted on WhatsApp. Though I have not read the original document supposedly released by the Vatican, an online search at the time of writing this article, reveals that various news outlets, such as washington post, bbc, reuters, the guardian, cbs news, nbc news, ap news, ny times, and k24tv.co.ke, among others, have reported on this development. With the assumption that the report is true and accurate (until I read the original document), I would like to share my thoughts on this development.
Teaching of the Catholic Church about sin and salvation
As to whether transgender people should be baptized and allowed to be godparents is a dicey question to answer. I'll attempt to share my opinion based of the teachings of the Catholic Church and my own reasoning.
One of the central and fundamental Christian beliefs is that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God - Romans 3:23, which is the reason for the very existence of Christianity - Jesus becoming man and sacrificing himself for mankind. The Catholic Church also teaches that every human being is born with original sin - Catechism of the Catholic church 396-406, which is cleansed through baptism. It is also taught that Jesus Christ came and sacrificed himself so that those who believe in him would be saved from death caused by sin. The Catholic Church teaches that remission of sin is accomplished through believing in Jesus Christ, baptism and onging repentance and participation in the sacrament of reconciliation. Jesus came for everyone, not a single person on earth excluded. Original sin can only be cleasned through baptism. Personal sin is cleansed through both baptism and the sacrament of reconciliation. Therefore, both forms of cleansing of sin rely on baptism. The unbaptized are not allowed to participate in the sacrament of reconciliation (except when they are about to be baptized, as far as I know).
Effect of prohibiting baptism of transgender people in the Catholic Church
From the foregoing, it stands to reason that if transgender people are not permitted to be baptized, they can never receive forgiveness of sins (according to Catholic belief, teaching and practice), and, therefore, are eternally condemned, with no hope of salvation. Should anybody be prohibited from participating in the salvation offer of God? No.
The problem with permitting baptism of transgender people in the Catholic Church
However, allowing transgender people to be baptized also poses a problem. It might lead to a false belief that there is nothing wrong with transgender practice, and, thereofore, encourage people to do it with impunity, without seeking psychological and spiritual help to overcome what I believe is a disorder.
What is my personal opinion about the baptism of transgenger people in the Catholic Church?
From the foregoing analysis, it can be seen that there are both pros and cons for permitting the baptism of transgender people in the Catholic Church.
My opinion is that transgender people should be baptized, but on a condition.
Transgender people should be baptized if, and only if, they repent of their transgender alignment (i.e. accept that transgender is a sin, and they would reverse it if they could, or they would never do it if they could turn back the hands of time). This is the normal requirement in the Church since forgiveness, which is secured through baptism and the sacrament of reconciliation, requires total renunciation of ALL sins. As long as the transgender person repents of their transgender sin and all other sins, there's no reason to not baptize them.
While other sins do not cause a permanent change to a person's body, transgender transformation does. A little googling informs me that transgender transformation is reversible. I suggest that those transgender people who have repented, and who have the means to have their transgender status reversed without medical complications, should do so to prove their repentance, before they are baptized. For those who do not have the means to have their transgender status reversed, or whose attempt at reversal may result in medical complications, they should be baptised based on their verbal confession. I know that with the verbal confession, people can lie, but we should leave that to God. In any case, they were headed for eternal damnation anyway, without the intervention of the baptism and subsequently the sacrament of reconciliation. So if they lie, it just proves where they belong, and it's a judgement for God to make.
Should transgender people be godparents in the Catholic Church?
It is my opinion that transgender people should not be godparents in the Catholic Church. My reasoning include:
- Preventing transgender people from being godparents will reinforce the message of the Church that transgender is not an acceptable practice. This is to somehow mitigate the possible negative effect caused by baptizing "repentant" transgender people.
- There are far far more "straight" people than transgender people, so it should not be a problem finding a "straight" person to be a godparent.
- It would limit the opportunity for transgender people who could pretend to repent but with the intention of infiltrating the Church to pollute others with their ideology.
In summary, I think transgender people should be baptized if they repent, but should not be allowed to be godparents. This position should be explained clearing and unequivocally by the Church.
- Category: The Church
This article has been inspired by the conflict that exists within Christianity mainly due to the interpretation of the bible (the genuine cases). First of all it is important for us to understand the place of the bible in Christianity before we can properly apply it to Christian spirituality. This article seeks to use the dealings of God with his people Israel, the dealings of Jesus and the apostles with the early Christians, the bible itself and common sense to try to establish the place of the bible in Christianity. I hope this article will help you strengthen your Christian roots.
Key areas to be discussed:
- The Bible versus the Word of God
- Where and how did we get the Bible?
- How has God instructed his people from the beginning as recorded in the Bible?
- Who is the final authority in the Church?
- The protestant reformation (“revolution”)
- Category: Prayer and fasting
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. May the grace and peace of God be in your heart.
Friends, in Luke 22:39-46, Jesus admonished us to keep watch and pray so as to avoid trial. Beloved, there will at some point in your life be a moment of trial, but at those times you need strength from above just as in the case of Jesus. (Luke 22:43)
Importance of prayer
Dear friends, prayer is a necessity as it is the means by which we engage God (1 Chronicles 16:11) and through that get to know the original intent of God for our lives. Quiet time is one of the many forms of prayer that believers engage in. Some other forms of prayer include warfare (where the individual through the power of prayer engages God and the host of heaven against the enemy on his/her behalf), the prayer of intercession (the art of standing in the gap for others, communities and nations before God) and many of such forms of prayer.