Vatican officials said Wednesday that transgender people could be baptized in the Catholic Church.

“A transgender person, even if he or she has undergone hormone therapy or sex reassignment surgery, may be baptized under the same conditions as other believers, provided there are no situations in which there is a risk of public scandal or disorientation among the believers “,” a Vatican office said in a document posted in Italian on its website on Wednesday.

The document was a response to six questions sent to the Vatican in July by Bishop Jose Negri of Santo Amaro, Brazil, regarding the participation of LGBTQ people in routine Catholic practices, and was released by the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith . The document said it was approved by Pope Francis on October 31.

Vatican officials also concluded that transgender people can be godparents and witnesses at religious weddings. They added that a person in a same-sex relationship can also act as a witness at Catholic weddings.

The document appeared to indicate that children either adopted by same-sex couples or conceived through surrogacy cannot be baptized. It also meant that people in same-sex relationships should not be godparents to baptized children.

The Vatican’s stated willingness to welcome transgender people into the church is the latest step it has taken to expand to the LGBTQ community.

Last month, Francis signaled his willingness to allow Catholic priests to bless same-sex couples on a case-by-case basis. However, Francis, 86, added that same-sex blessings should not be seen as synonymous with heterosexual weddings.

Some leading Catholics who have advocated for the inclusion of LGBTQ people in the church praised the Vatican’s statement.

Rev. James Martin, an American Jesuit who advocates for LGBTQ Catholics, wrote On the platform

“In that sense, this is an important step forward for the church to see transgender people not just as people (in a church where some say they don’t really exist) but also as Catholics,” Martin said.

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