Choosing God parents/ christian witness

Avatar for raksdk
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-06-2003
Choosing God parents/ christian witness
27
Thu, 12-17-2009 - 5:46pm

Hi all,

I have a question about God parents. We are having a really difficult time choosing God parents for our DS. I would like to ask my sister (who was baptized catholic, but is not practicing any religion, but is thinking about joining the episcopal church). For the God father we would choose a catholic. Can my sister be the Christian witness? Or is she not allowed since she was baptized catholic? Is it true if you're once a catholic, always a catholic?

Thanks.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-26-2005
Thu, 12-17-2009 - 10:45pm

Hi, I'm the Baptism Coordinator at my parish. Anyone who leaves the Catholic faith cannot be a Christian Witness for a Baptism. And anyone who is baptized Catholic but not practicing is ineligible to be a godparent.


Not necessarily true about once a Catholic, always a Catholic if someone of their own free will leaves the Catholic church. Of course they can always return if they sincerely want to at any point after going to Confession.


Ruth

Avatar for raksdk
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-06-2003
Fri, 12-18-2009 - 11:16am

ok, so my sister is out. We had someone in mind for the godfather. He is catholic and is confirmed. However, I am not sure if he is practicing now and he is married to a Jewish girl and I'm not sure the marriage was blessed by the church. When I spoke to my priest he said they are required to get a letter from their parish and he was not going to question it if he had the letter. But if he gets the letter even if he is not practicing catholic does this affect the validity of the baptism? I only ask b/c I know people can get sponsor letters without actually meeting the requirements of the sponsorship.

Thanks for your consideration. I am having a hard time with my decision as we don't know a lot of practicing catholics. Most catholics I know don't practice regularly. But I really want my DS baptized. I think our choice for the godfather would be a good one and he would take the honor seriously, but I don't know if he's practicing or not. I am a practicing catholic but my DH is not catholic so that eliminates most of his family as well.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2009
Fri, 12-18-2009 - 12:38pm

< But if he gets the letter even if he is not practicing catholic does this affect the validity of the baptism>>

the validity of the sacrament comes from the words used and the water poured.... not based on the godparents

Renee


Wife to Scott


Mom to: Madeleine, James, Abigail, Theresa & John


www.reneesuz.blogspot.com

Renee


Wife to Scott


Mom to: Madeleine, James,

Avatar for raksdk
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-06-2003
Fri, 12-18-2009 - 12:49pm
ok, good to know.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-26-2005
Fri, 12-18-2009 - 1:09pm

Your priest is doing the right thing in asking for a letter from the godfather's parish. We ask for the same thing for all godparents who are not members of our own parish and therefore not known to us. We call them godparent certificates which are usually a small preprinted slip of paper that has a line where the person's name is written. It is then signed by the pastor/priest of that parish and the seal of that parish is imprinted on it. It lets us know that the person is known to that parish community and that he/she is eligible (is Confirmed and is practicing in that parish) to be a godparent. Without that, our parish does not accept someone as a godparent. We also require a letter from nonCatholic Christian Witnesses from their church letting us know that they have been baptized in a Christian faith.


As Renee said the validity of the sacrament of Baptism doesn't have anything to do with the godparents.


Also FYI if it's helpful to you - only one godparent is

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-02-2008
Fri, 12-18-2009 - 2:32pm

Ruth is right. Only one godparent is required. It's definitely nice to have two, but it isn't necessary. I think it's most important to choose someone who will help with spiritual guidance. If it can be a relative, that's great. In our case, most of our relatives are disgruntled Catholics. Our church required letters of good standing as well. BIL wanted to be the godfather. He'd fallen away from the faith, but expressed an interest in returning. I spoke with our priest about it, and he gave permission for BIL to be the godfather. This was with DS. It was probably not the best decision to go with him because he didn't wind up returning to the church. I do think if anything ever happened to us, he would honor our wishes to make sure Ian's spiritual needs are met. Still, the decision is now one I wish I would have thought harder about.

If you can't get approval for a relative, you could always ask the church to help. I know there are many members in our parish who will accept the role.

Good luck!







Avatar for i_florida04
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2004
Fri, 12-18-2009 - 3:17pm

I believe in "once a catholic, always a catholic."

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Sat, 12-19-2009 - 8:57am

I wish I would have known this before chosing the Godparents for my son.

 


 


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-26-2005
Sat, 12-19-2009 - 9:16am

Well sort of "once a godparent always a godparent". In other words you can't pick new godparents after the baptism for whatever reason the original ones may not be working out.


Ruth

Avatar for i_florida04
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2004
Sun, 12-20-2009 - 2:06pm
I agree with the idea of having or giving godparent certificates in the Catholic Church.

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