Priest puts both same-sex mums on baptismal record

A same-sex couple’s successful quest for a priest who would name them both as their son’s mothers on his baptismal record is stirring controversy in Colombia.

Colombian couple Manuela and Luisa Fernanda Gómez, who are civilly married, visited several parishes before they found a willing pastor to name them both as their son Matias’s mothers.

During their search they were repeatedly told the baptismal certificate would list only the same of his biological mother and not that of her partner. The reason they were given was ‘the Church does not recognise the marriage of persons of the same sex’.

However, they eventually found a priest willing to perform the rite provided the diocesan curia permitted it.

In a decision causing controversy in Colombia, permission was given for both mothers’ names to be entered in the baptismal records. Matias was baptised on 13 July.

The archdiocese said the names of the parents recorded on the birth certificate were to be recorded on the baptismal certificate “in the same order in which they are written on that [civil birth] registry.”

In Matias’s case, his civil birth certificate records both his mothers as ‘Mother one’ and ‘Mother two’.

Defending its decision from its critics, the archdiocese says for several years “the sacrament of baptism has been administered to children of homosexual couples,” thus giving “the grace of Christian life to the children”.

Baptism in such cases is “not a recognition of the couples themselves,” the archdiocese notes.

However, in a 2017 letter from Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, the former prefect of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, clarified how to record baptisms for the children of same-sex couples.

“In the current Code, there is not a specific law with respect to the entry of same sex couples or ‘transgendered persons’ as parents on the baptismal record.

“The term ‘parents’ used by the Church’s Canon 877 clearly refers to the father and mother, the man and the woman created by God who are united in the sacrament of marriage.

“The entry of same sex couples or ‘transgendered persons’ as parents would be contrary to the aforementioned canon and the teaching of Our Lord and of the Church on marriage as God desires… [so] …the natural father or mother of the child, it must be mentioned on the record, the other partner cannot …”.

The Council did not consider it possible to enter on the baptismal record two mothers, two fathers, or transgender men or women whose “true nature” was of the opposite gender.


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