In her letter, Ms. Chinakwe here acts as if parents were choosing random trans folks from off the street as godparents. Folks whom the parents wouldn't otherwise trust as godparents.
I think we can rightly assume that whomever parents choose to serve as godparents—trans or divorced or single parenting or otherwise—are people that those parents trust to steward their child's faith formation and identities as Catholics, neighbors, citizens, friends, siblings, and all the other ways that children grow and change.
To assume by virtue of their trans-ness alone that they can't serve as godparents is prejudicial and discriminatory on its face.
Lots of people in America struggle with their identity. As a Black American man who has come to Catholicism later in life, I've had my fair share of identity struggles—not the least of which is whether I can be “authentically Black and truly Catholic.” Does that preclude me from serving as a godparent?
I don't wish for Mrs. Chinakwe’s message to be removed or for her to be banned or anything. I do want there to be some robust discussion on this point, however. This speech cannot stand alone as the sole message from Black Catholic Messenger.
“Forgive my error, and please instruct me, for I did not know that the precept of obedience took precedence over that of charity.”
—St. Martín de Porres (1570-1639)
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