the godfather clause

When Pope Francis stated this week that transgender people cannot be godparents I admit to being a little disappointed. To state that it was a moral issue was not the brightest thing that the Catholic church has ever done. I interpret this as saying that transgender people are making a choice to be immoral.

But then where do you draw the line: at no hormones or surgery? Maybe hormones but no surgery? What is their own definition of transgender.

By playing the moral card you are doing countless transgender Catholics a disservice. As it turns out I am godparent to a few of my nephews and nieces. Does that no longer count because I was not out at the time but now I am? Am I currently acceptable because I have done nothing to my body?

Admittedly we could have done a lot worse than this pope and I fundamentally like him. I think he is kind and is concerned for the poor and the downtrodden but that just makes this current ruling just that much more surprising.

Faith without reason.

As I have stated before in this blog I am a bit of a maverick when it comes to the faith I was raised in but you have to wonder what the power that created this universe thinks about old men in funny hats coming up with dictates like this one.


  1. Aaah if it was only so, yet these men in funny hats are believed to be inspired by a deity. Their believers are encouraged to see their silly ideas as infallible, in spite of so many of those infallible and silly ideas being contradicted over the centuries.
    It is a strange world Joanna.

  2. It is indeed Halle and the longer I live the stranger it appears...

  3. Give'em time - they'll figure out a way to officially "ex-godparent" disobedient Catholics. (I, too, was a godparent...back in the day. Never needed me...and the kid is an adult now.)

    I'm qualified to comment because I was born and raised in the Catholic church (Catholic mom, Protestant dad, born in a Catholic hospital), and as a kid, received numerous tongue-lashings from the heavy-handed nuns. (But none of it "took" - I was still "myself.")

    Among my complaints: Masses in latin...what earthly good is a church service that you couldn't understand? I heard the priest sermonize to the parishoners (sp?) that in order to gain the privilege of access to heaven, everyone in the parish had to vote for President Kennedy and Mom confirmed that I heard right. But the one that took the cake for me was being told that I was going to burn in hades if I didn't pay attention to the nun. (Yes, I had the audacity to glance at my wristwatch during catechism!) "You don't need to look at your watch. I'll tell you when catechism is over. Now pay attention to me, or you'll burn in h**l!" As I recall, I was told to leave it home after that. Can't say if the nun was right...guess I'll find out when I eventually "kick the bucket." (Old phrase for "die"...)

    I wonder how they handle kids with cell phones and who are sending text messages nowadays? Some of the older nuns probably had strokes over those prolific gadgets....

    Bright side was...I never was an altar boy, nor did I hold any other church position, so I had no run-ins (or liaisons) with the priest. I don't think he even knew me. For those bits of good fortune, I'm ever thankful...

    When my wife and I married 30+ years ago, I finally had a perfect opportunity to abandon the dogmatic and ever-stuffy Catholic church...and haven't looked back for as much as a millisecond ever since!

    I apologize in advance to devout Catholics, who may be offended by my remarks...but unfortunately, to me "it is what it is."


  4. I can understand your frustration Mandy. No offense taken by anyone I suspect

  5. I wonder if Pope Francis is having the same issues understanding who is transgender and who may not be. I think for many the level of our T-ness is often, but not always, a moving target. To those who were formerly known as true transexuals where they are sure of their gender being the opposite of their birth gender certain issues may be clear. To the occasional cross dresser some have questioned if they are truly transgender at all. Therefore, it is odd for the Pope to dip a toe into the murky T waters with an all encompassing pronouncement.

    As for me I have several god children. As a Catholic of Italian heritage it is an honor to be "Godfather". Several years ago my brother became ordained as a Catholic Deacon. His oldest daughter is my goddaughter. I do not think that my personal T issues have anything to do with my being her godfather. She now has three lovely children of her own.


    1. Pat I don't think the pope understands to what level people are dysphoric out there and yet are not visible because they live secret lives. My point is where does one draw the line in Trans-ness. There are people who live as women or men and were not born as such and have not altered their body. How does that play into this whole thing? murky indeed!

  6. I was raised as a hardcore Catholic... educated by monks... the whole deal. I tried to return to the faith various times to anchor me but I just couldn't in the end. Then I read the 'God Delusion' and that was the end of that. I don't know why the Pope feels he has something to say on any matters trans... is he trans? Has he done his research? He has trans freinds? Once you read Dawkins and you let go of all that stuff... the whole thing seems farcical. I take it youre not a fan of the book. xx

    1. I'm actually till quite spiritual Felix but not dogmatically religious. I think in these matters you are right that people who are not trans should not wade into things they do not understand. My question was simple in this case: why would a trans person make a bad godparent and I was hard pressed to come up with a good reason. This is how organized religion can sometimes border on the stupid


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