Recently I wrote a response to an article in the Black Catholic Messenger (BCM) that is receiving a lot of attention. The original article Vatican: Transgender people can be baptized, serve as godparents
To Catholics, the role of godparent is a big deal. This is a person who is going to walk with your child spiritually through their entire life. So it shocked me about the decision the Pope announced last week, mainly because the role of the godparent is so important in a young person’s life.
Let me be clear, my role as a Christian is to show God’s love to all people. I wholeheartedly believe I am doing that. However, I am also God’s messenger, and as such I must shed light on the dark places of this earth.
So, back to the Pope’s announcement to allow people who are transgender or who have transitioned access to be godparents. As a Catholic mom, wife, and educator here are the reasons I feel this is a misstep for the Catholic Church.
Formation of faith
In Catholicism, as children grow up, the adults around them instruct them on the things of God. We send our children to catechism, which is a word used to describe the study of the Catholic religion. So for years typically kindergarten (or earlier) until 8th grade children are receiving instruction about their catholic faith. The people who walk alongside them during this process are the priest, their parents, catechist teachers (which I have been for a number of years), and their godparents. You can see that there is a multitude of counsel for this young person, which is great. This brings me to my next point. Who is allowed access to our children?
Who is allowed access?
As a parent, you get the sole responsibility of allowing people to access your child. I believe we are supposed to lead by example. For instance, some friends and family members we had when we didn’t have children might have gone by the wayside when our children were born because we want our children to be influenced by certain people (that’s how my husband and I role anyway). I believe there is a lot of wisdom in being selective of who you allow your children to be around. So as a parent, you have to ask yourself who is allowed access.
Standing on the Truth
I want my children to grow up standing on the word of God and believing what it says for them and their lives. For that reason I have to stand on God’s word, Geneses 1:27 says “God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them male and female He created them. So the fact that the lines of gender identity are getting convoluted is concerning to me. My opinion is that I can’t have anyone instructing children in the things of God when they are questioning their own gender identity.
So when it comes to the Pope’s announcement I have to stand firm on God’s word. Am I saying there is no place for trans people in the Catholic church? Absolutely not, I believe we are all sinners, saved by grace and working out our salvation. I do, however, believe that trans people, or anyone for that matter who is questioning their own gender identity should not be able to give wise spiritual counsel to our most impressionable population, our children.
God’s word matters
The most overlooked part of the Pope’s recent announcements is that he does not consult the Bible in his decisions. I believe that is a grave misstep in our faith. In all things, we must consult and lead with the truth (God’s word). As Christians, if you aren’t already doing so read your Bible so that you will know the word of God for yourself. When we do this we not only see the black and white text on the page God begins to speak the Rhema word to His children.
This is solely my opinion based on what I know of the bible, but I’d love for you to weigh in. Drop a comment in the comment section.