Faith/Spirituality Forum: Godparents
Godparents QUESTION from Mrs. A. Rogerson on October 29, 2001 Why is it that a Catholic friend of mine (brought up the same way) is being denied her wish to baptize her son because her choice of godparents, although Catholics, are not practicing (she's been to 2 churches already)? I found this to be very upsetting. I understand the role of godparents as you've stated in a previous question - Canon Law, and agree that they should help bring up your child in the Catholic faith. So, does that mean that a person is recognized as a Catholic only if they go to Church? To me, being Catholic also means living morally and ethically through the eyes of God. Am I right then in assuming that the Catholic Church which represents God, will only accept individuals conditionally? Please help me understand. (My friend although not practicing right now was a practicing for about 15 years and now plans to be practicing once again.)
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on February 8, 2002 Dear Mrs. Rogerson:
Well, Godparents have an obligation to assist and ensure that the children be raised Catholic. How can a godparent do that if they are not a practicing Catholic? Such would be hypocricy and unreliable.
Being Catholic means following ALL the teachings of Christ. Practicing one's faith is a REQUIREMENT. To fail to practice one's faith is a grave sin and such a person risks their soul to hell. It is not enough to be merely a good and moral person. Even an atheist can do that. As Christians we must follow Christ. Being a godparent is NOT just a rubber-stamp title to satisfy a ritual. It is a solumn responsibility and promise that one takes before God, the Church, the child, and the parents.
If these godparents are not practicing Catholic then they are in a state of sin, risking their souls to hell, and are incompetent to be godparents. For them to be godparents would be like an alcoholic who is still drinking and drunk being a sponsor and counselor for a recovering alcoholic trying to stay on the wagon.
I hope this helps you to understand the issues a little.
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