The French bishops’ permanent council has approved a recommendation to remove gender references for parents on baptismal certificates.

Bishop Joseph de Metz-Noblat of Langres, president of the French bishops’ Council for Canonical Questions, said the changes were made to bring baptismal practices into line with new gender-equality laws.

In a letter to bishops dated Dec. 13, 2018, and published at the end of 2019, Bishop Metz-Noblat said the “ever-more-complex situation of families in France” had made compiling Catholic documents “sometimes difficult,” especially with baptisms.

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