ROME The Vatican told a Spanish bishop that transsexuals cannot be godparents after he asked for a formal answer on the matter, the cleric in the diocese of Cadiz and Ceuta said.
Bishop Rafael Zornoza Boy said the Vatican's doctrinal arm replied that transsexuals "publicly show an attitude contrary to the moral requirement to resolve one's sexual identity problem according to the truth of one's sex".
In a statement on his diocese's website, Zornoza Boy said: "Pope Francis has effectively said on several occasions, in line with Church teaching, that this behaviour is against man's nature."
The Church "wants to help everyone in their own situation with a compassionate heart, but without denying the truth it preaches," the bishop added.
Zornoza Boy said he made the query to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith because of confusion among the faithful, and the publicity given to the complicated subject.
An Italian conservative Catholic blog, Rorate Caeli, said the issue was first raised by a transexual, born a woman, who had asked to be godfather to his nephew.
In its reponse to Zornoza Boy, the Vatican said its stance on transsexual godparents "should not be seen as discrimination".
(Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Catherine Evans)