As a Catholic, acting as godparent for non-catholic

Is this permissible? Please cite.

I can find plenty of stuff about other non-catholic family being a witness for a catholic baptism but not the reversal editand the reversal but not about being the sole godparets.

To clarify; Our Episcopal sister-in-law is asking my wife and I to be godparents to her new son.

A priest, when I was in RCIA, said, IICRC, that it is ok so long as we dont promise to raise in the Methodist/Baptist/Presbyterian etc tradition but just as ‘christian’. Just want to be sure I remember this correct.

this is the closest thing I could find on the internet

Assuming that answer is true, and we were clear with the minister we are Catholic, is this ok?

I can’t determine whether it’s ‘permissible’ or not, I can just say what I’d do myself. I’ve always supposed that being Godparent, besides teaching about Christ, means being prepared to accept the child into my own family. I’ve been Godparent to a niece or a nephew… and the sad fact is that I can’t even remember which child it was, but the truth is that I’d accept any of my sibling’s offspring into my family and love them and give them whatever I’d give to my own child/children.

If something happened, would you make sure your nephew was raised in the Episcopal Church? When he has questions about the faith, will you give him advice that is in accord with Episcopal teachings?

Just make sure you don’t have to promise to raise the child Episcopalian. Also, make sure your sister is ok with that.


I don’t know the answer on our Church teaching or theirs on this, but I can think of some practical considerations.

I try to establish certain traditions I do for and with my Godchildren. If you can treat them the same as your other Godchildren, no problem. If your interactions are going to be ill-recieved as too Catholic, it’s a problem.

First ask the parents if they would consider having the child baptized in the Catholic Church seeing that her husband is baptised Catholic.

If this is not a goer, then before agreeing to be a Christian witness (not godparent)

  • insist that there be another Christian (presumably an episcopalian) acting as godparent.
  • ask for a copy of the ritual including all words you have to say, all the promises you have to make and prayers you have to say “Amen” to, and make sure there is nothing contrary to Catholicism.
  • make clear to the parents and the minister beforehand, that if you take up this role, you will be doing everything reasonably possible, with due respect to the parents’ rights, to teach the child the fullness of the Catholic faith received from Christ and the Apostles, without any dilution or omission, and that you will be encouraging the child in due course to become a Catholic once he reaches the age of reason.

OP, in this case, I would advise against this…unless you want your family to say…“on 2nd thought, thanks…but no thanks”

1 Like

If that’s their decision, then too bad. You tried. Better not to be a godparent at all than to make false promises to God.

What false promises would you be making…?

So long as by “Christian,” he means Catholic :wink:
But seriously, heaven forbid something should happen and such children are left to your care, you have a huge responsibility on your hands. It would not be a time to entertain PC ideals, but to promote spiritual ideals. It then becomes your duty to present the fullness of truth.
I would be crystal clear about this before accepting the honor.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit