Faith/Spirituality Forum: Godchild Leaving the Faith

Godchild Leaving the Faith QUESTION from Cherise O'Rian on December 3, 2002 Dear Brother,
I am godmother to my young half-sisters, whose mother is half-Jewish. Although she allowed their baptism, she did not let them be raised in the church, and has now decided she wants the girls to be Jews. She has shipped them to Hebrew school and basically bribed them into agreeing to have expensive bat mitzvahs. They seem to have little understanding or interest in any religion at this age (12). I am deeply upset that they are leaving the church in this drastic way, but I am afraid to cause more upheaval in the family by continuing to protest. What should I do? If I cannot prevent the bat mitzvah, am I obliged to attend?
Thank you for your help.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on December 22, 2002 Dear Miss O'Rian:
I am sorry to hear this and we will be praying for you in this situation.
As their Godmother, you have a special spiritual authority that you can apply in prayer. Be in prayer for them regardless of which path they take.
There is nothing directly you can do if the mother wishes them to be in the Jewish faith now. You can talk to the mother to ask her not to do this, but if she says no there is little else you can do directly. Arguing and discord will not resolve the issue.
Pray for the children and pray for their mother.
As far as attending any Jewish ceremonies, that is a decision you need to make after careful discernment in prayer and examination of your own conscience. While it is true that it is inadviseable to attend sin actions or ceremonies that involve sin -- such as an Catholic getting married outside the Church -- this is not that kind of situation. The Children are not personally rebelliing. They are under the guidance and direction of their mother.
Especially if you have a close relationship with the children you need to support them -- none of this is their fault.
Pray about it and follow our Blessed Mother's advise: Go ask Jesus and do what he tells you.
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