Baptism and Godparents


#1

I wanted two females (my sister and my husband’s sister) as my daughter’s godparents, but learned that is not allowed under Canon Law. Is there a way that both women can be part of the ceremony and just record one name on the Baptismal Certificate?


#2

Talk to your pastor about this. I can almost guarantee that every experienced pastor has learned ways to deal delicately with these family situations.


#3

I am not sure why it is so difficult to understand what a sponsor is and isn’t. And that if you have two sponsors it must be one of each sex.

Everyone can be “part of the ceremony” as in witnessing it. Only the sponsors make the responses as sponsors, light the candle, etc.

So, the answer is “no” if you mean stand up like they are a sponsor and participate as a sponsor and just not have their name recorded as sponsor.

Your child can have one sponsor, a female, or two, a male and female. The other can be a godparent to a future child or the confirmation sponsor for your child.

I am sure it is disappointing when you had an idea in your head about how things would go, only to find out that it isn’t allowed.


#4

In short the answer is no.

Can. 873 One sponsor, male or female, is sufficient; but there may be two, one of each sex.


#5

Ditto! I am one of 2 “godmothers” for my nephew. So, thank you for quoting this from Can.873. The Diocese of Lincoln, NE is pretty strict, so for them to allow it, would mean it would be in canon law. They still have Ascension Thursday on THURSDAY! :slight_smile:


#6

You seem to be contradicting what is written in Canon Law.


#7

I can assure you that the baptismal record in the parish where your nephew was baptized does not reflect two “Godmothers”. You two may have been “allowed” to stand as sponsors but if two were recorded and listed as Godparents the parish pastor is in violation of canon law and subject to sanctions. I would doubt that this happened as this is serious issue.

What many pastors do, as does my pastor, is use the clause that only one Confirmed Catholic is required. Then this in his mind allows anyone to stand in as the second even though they are Catholic and not confirmed, or living outside of Catholic teaching, or as in your case two females. The thought is that if one is a confirmed Catholic then the requirements are met. I do not agree with this and neither does canon law.

Canon law is quite clear and simple, one confirmed Catholic is required, either sex. If there are two it must be one of each sex. If a sponsor is Catholic they must be confirmed; if the second sponsor is not Catholic then he/she can stand as a Christian witness (yes they must be a baptized Christian). A Catholic who is not confirmed cannot stand in as a Christian witness; in other words, if there are two Catholic Godparents, they must both be confirmed and one of each sex.


#8

Thank you for clarifying this issue


#9

You’re welcome. And I’m sorry for being so preachy. I just re-read my response and I didn’t like it! Sorry about that.


#10

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