Alex Salinas, a practicing Spanish Catholic, was asked to be his nephew’s godfather–but the Vatican is refusing, because Salinas is transgender.
Salinas was first declined by the local priest, who cited the transgender man’s inability to “live in accordance with the faith” because of his gender identity.
But Salinas, who described the decision as a “kick in the stomach,” appealed to the bishop of the Dioceses of Cadiz and Ceuta–who refused refused to overturn the priest’s decision.
Following widespread media attention in Spain and other parts of Europe, the bishop kicked the question up the chain to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in order to get an official decision.
The Catholic Church sided with the priest and the bishop–declaring that it’s “impossible” for transgendered people to be godparents, because they’re inherently at odds with the Church’s doctrine.
“It is evident that [a transgender person] does not possess the requirement of leading a life according to the faith and in the position of godfather and is therefore unable to be admitted to the position of godfather or godmother,” the Church explained.
The Vatican also added that there was “no discrimination toward [Salinas], but only the recognition of an objective lack of the requirements, which by their nature are necessary to assume the ecclesial responsibility of being a godfather.”
Salinas has vowed to continue to fight–even possibly filing a discrimination suit in Spain’s civil courts.
His nephew, meanwhile, will not be baptized in the Catholic Church, as a sign of the family’s solidarity with Salinas.