Baptism and Godparents


We are planning on having our babies baptized in the Spring. We would like to ask a family friend, who is a practicing Catholic, to be their godmother. However, her husband, although he attends church with her regularly, was not baptized in any Christian church. As I understand this, it means he can’t be a Christian Witness. So my question is, can you have just one Godparent? Two, from different families (that seems odd)? What are the options here? We really want this person to be their Godmother, for many reasons she is beyond question the right choice.

Thank you!


According to how I read Canon Law and how it has been explained to me you only need one sponsor. It does not specify that the sponsor should be from the same family. There is no reason not to have your friend be a sponsor.

Code of Canon Law



Can. 872 Insofar as possible, a person to be baptized is to be given a sponsor who assists an adult in Christian initiation or together with the parents presents an infant for baptism. A sponsor also helps the baptized person to lead a Christian life in keeping with baptism and to fulfill faithfully the obligations inherent in it.

Can. 873 There is to be only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each.

Can. 874 §1. To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor a person must:

1/ be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function;

2/ have completed the sixteenth year of age, unless the diocesan bishop has established another age, or the pastor or minister has granted an exception for a just cause;

3/ be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on;

4/ not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;

5/ not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized.

§2. A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community is not to participate except together with a Catholic sponsor and then only as a witness of the baptism.


It is fine to have one sponsor and it is also fine to have two unrelated sponsors.


Hello Bluehen,

First, I’m going to assume that you are either from Delaware, when to the University of Delaware, or Both. If so, hello! I was born and reared in Delaware, went to UD, and now live outside of Philadelphia. :smiley:

In regards to your child’s Baptism, you only need one Godparent. And if you have two, they do not need to be married. For example, my parents picked for my Godparents (both turned out to be terrible Godparents BTW) my mother’s brother and my dad’s sister. For my brother, my parents picked by mom’s best friend (who she doesn’t even talk to anymore) and my dad’s brother.

Good luck and God Bless.


Yes, you only need one sponsor/godparent.

There is no requirement that godparents be husband and wife. My daughter’s godparents are not married to each other. I am godfather to three children and my wife is only godmother to one of them.

If that were a requirement, the Church would effectively be forbidding single people from ever being godparents.


I am guessing that the OP is expecting twins or something like that. Infants who have already been born should certainly not be kept waiting until spring to be baptized,


No the babies are already born, in fact they have a nanny.

I’m don’t know that he has said why they are waiting so long to to baptize them.


he hasn’t and won’t.


Can. 867 §1 Parents are obliged to see that their infants are baptised within the first few weeks. As soon as possible after the birth, indeed even before it, they are to approach the parish priest to ask for the sacrament for their child, and to be themselves duly prepared for it.

§2 If the infant is in danger of death, it is to be baptised without any delay.



may I ask, what is your point in postibg this? because it seems, and I could be wrong, that maybe your intent is to “prove” we, a recently reverted catholic, a non-catholic, and two priests from separate parishes, hace screwed up and are going straight to hell, and the babies will be right there with us. I get it, we should have done this two years ago and certainly should otherwise do it immediately. thanks for clarifying with official text. I guess whatever reasons we all have don’t matter. you, and some others here, work for God and, judging us electronically, have determined our fate.

thank you for pointing out the error of oue ways. I wonder what else we are doing wrong. we need your help to be perfect, can you let us know how else you’ll be judging us so we can repent and act differently without delay?


I wasn’t even responding to your post. I was commenting to Maryjk.

I don’t know the reason for your outburst and over-reaction. I was simply showing that Catholic parents are obliged to get their infants baptised as soon as possible. I had no idea you had waited so long or why. We are not mind readers. You have only just given us the information in this post!


Well then, I am sorry.

I’ve just seen too many people on this forum proudly displaying their knowledge of the ins-and-outs of Catholicism, and disdaining others who know less. But then, knowing all the rules may make one “Catholic,” but it’s the way in which we live our lives that defines the extent to which we are “good” Catholics. I wonder how many of these folks express their knowledge in how they live but, If I answered, that, I would be purely speculating.

There’s a little bit of history here too, thistle, for me on this forum. That is why maryjk was able to report the information she did. Perhaps she thought she was “calling me out,” or maybe she was just being informative. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. I’ve made my share of mistakes and gotten pretty lost at times - over the past two years even. But I’ll admit to all of them, and I’ll call myself out, so it’s pointless for someone else to.

Again, I apologize for my angry and disgusted response. I’m just so disappointed in this forum (and yet, I continue to use it) because I believed that as Catholics, we are supposed to be brothers and sisters in Christ to one another, not throw the book at each other. One of the reasons I cam back to the Church is because I finally saw Catholicism could be accessible to me and meaningful in my life. Some people here seem to detest that.



No problem from my side.


Lets be clear here, thistle. You weren’t commenting at all. So there was no comment to me. You quoted Canon Law. (I’m not sure why.)

Without that information, people would post about babies being baptized. About the up coming birth of your babies.

Sometimes people want more information simply because they can tailor their comments to your situation.

For me, the older the child the less likely I would be to name two Godparents. I am Godparent to a child baptized at age 7. The parents didn’t name a Godfather. So I am it. :shrug:

There was no calling you out. Just trying to stop the comments about newborn Baptisms.


The godparents do not have to be related. So if possible, give the child two godparents. Two is better than one. It can only help to have two faithful, practicing godparents.


Welcome home! I pray for you and your family as you become re-acquainted with Holy Mother Church! Thank you for reaching out to attempt to understand the correct way to do things, and trying to do them! Your original and specific question was answered above - I will leave it at that.

As for this forum, and in many other places one finds people of knowledge:
You are correct that quite a number of people that participate in this forum like to “puff out their chest” with the knowledge they have, particularly in quoting particular church documents, as if they have them memorized. This is what the pope was trying to encourage a stop to when he chastised those in the Church for being so narrow minded and obsessed with the little particular rules of the Church. When quoting like this often we, as mere humans, forget the need for charity in all we do, and in quoting “the rules” it does not take into account the reasons and love for which the same rules were written.

I would encourage all on this forum to try to remember that the rules are written, yes, but they must also be presented in a pastoral, charitable way so that it shows those receiving this knowledge for the first time the love that the Church (and God) has for them through said rule.


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