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Godparents

What if I do not meet all the criteria to be a godparent?

The role of “godparent” is not merely that of patron— it is that of mentor. Sometimes emotional conflicts occur in a family when relatives or close friends who are held in esteem are considered as possible godparents but are technically not qualified either because they are not Catholics or because they are Catholics who do not practice their faith regularly, or whose religious status is “problematic” because some situations, for example, a civil marriage.

Conflicts can occur between loyalties to family and friends and the demands of liturgical and religious authenticity. Baptism and Confirmation are sacraments of faith, and the major ministers of the Church, including the godparents, should be examples of faith for those gathered in prayer.

Not every relative or friend is appropriate to serve as “godparent”.

The parent’s of the child might wish to consider you, not as an official godparent but as an “honorary” godparent if you are deeply committed to the spiritual well-being of the child and are attempting to remove the obstacles that prevented you from being formally designated as a godparent.

In special cases, the advice and wisdom of the local priest can be very helpful.

What if I am not Catholic but I am a Christian?

The child’s parents are very lucky to have you as a friend or relative. You can certainly act as “Christian Witness” for their child since you have already been a witness of Christian life and values to them. But they are baptizing their child into the Catholic community so it makes more sense for them to have a godparent who is committed to the Catholic community and its beliefs.

What if a Godparent in unable to attend the Baptism?

If a Godparent is unable to attend the baptismal ceremony, it is possible to have a “proxy”. A proxy is a stand-in at the ceremony when the designated Godparent can not be present. The designated sponsor will be noted in the official record of the parish.

What if I have other questions about being a godparent?

Ask your parish priest. He will answer any other specific questions that pertain to your situation.