From CNS: “A media firestorm arose in Spain after a transsexual woman, who considers herself a man, asked to be the godfather of her nephew – leading a diocese’s bishop to turn to the Vatican for an answer.
After writing to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about the issue earlier this month [August], Bishop Rafael Zornoza Boy of Cádiz and Ceuta was told that since transsexual persons are not consistently living Church teaching, its “impossible” for them to fulfill their duties as a godparent.”
On his blog, Joseph Shaw, LMS Chairman, says: Transsexual lifestyle ‘not in accord with the Faith’:
This is a tremendously important clarification from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, reported and translated by Rorate Caeli, where there is more background.
The CDF was asked by the Bishop of Cadiz about whether a transsexual could be a godparent. To be a godparent, according to Canon Law, one must, among other things, be someone who
‘leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on’. [Canon 874]
This might seem a subjective matter, but as far as refusing to allow a person to be a godparent it must be determined by objective, which is to say public, things, and so parallels the issue of being allowed to receive Holy Communion, to which it is often linked. Catholics in irregular marriages, for example, can’t be godparents. The CDF now tells us that the same is true of transsexuals: those who have adopted the lifestyle of the opposite sex.
The CDF, responding to the question ‘can it be allowed?’, replied as follows.
“Regarding this particular [issue], I inform you of the impossibility that it be admitted. The transsexual behaviour itself reveals, in a public manner, an attitude that is opposed to the moral demand of resolving one’s own problem of sexual identity according to the truth of one’s own sex. Therefore, it is evident that this person does not possess the requisite of leading a life according to the faith and to the position of godfather (CIC [Code of Canon Law] Can 874 §3), not being able, therefore, of being admitted to the position either of godmother or of godfather. Discrimination is not to be seen in this, but only a recognition of an objective lack of the requisites that by their own nature are necessary to take over the ecclesial responsibility of being a godparent.”
I’ve done a post about the arguments surrounding transsexuality on my philosophy blog here.
[L]iving as a transsexual has been categorised by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as incompatible with the Faith. This is about the argument in favour of tolerating or promoting this lifestyle.
The transsexual phenomenon is not entirely new, but it is taking on a new form and become a cause celebre with astonishing speed. From a common-sense point of view it seems sheer lunacy: people can now simply claim to be the sex opposite to that indicated by their biology, and have this assertion officially recognised, with or without any medical diagnosis or intervention (not that either would make any real difference).
The radicals who have promoted the social acceptance of transsexuality in this sense have followed the strategy used in a number of other successful campaigns to change attitudes. In the cases of contraception, abortion, IVF, euthanasia, and drug use the appeal is made to a victim group disadvantaged by a old law or attitude, and opponents of change are accused of lacking compassion. Drug users are perhaps the least sympathetic of the proposed victim groups, which is why the legalisation of drugs has been a harder struggle, but the efforts by the liberal media to portray them as charming and harmless are all the more evident.
The other obstacle to the success of the strategy is the existence of a rival group of victims. These are most obviously identifiable in the case of abortion, which is why liberals can’t stand depictions of the ‘clumps of cells’ removed in abortion as they really are: looking like babies. The narrative of people being victimised by an archaic law or attitude is thrown into doubt when it turns out that the proposed new practise simply victimises another set of people. The debate then has to focus on which set of victims has priority. Read on…