Baptism dispute


#1

So my wife and I were confirmed through RCIA at the Easter vigil and we're going through the process to baptize our children and convalidate our marriage in a few weeks. My mother is a good catholic and the reason why we also came in to the church. I am personally adamant about her being a godmother to my children, but my priest who is administering our sacraments is claiming that only in case of an emergency is a grandparent allowed to be a godparent. I had brought this up twice and was as insistent as I could be without being openly confrontational until today- the parish secretary was on us for turning in our paperwork and so I printed out some stuff that shows canon law allows grandparents and she basically didn't even want to hear it. She told me that she was pretty sure that grandparents can't be godparents either and that no matter, we should just listen to the priest because he is our spiritual adviser. She then called him to confirm that he is right in this dispute (as opposed to one of the other priests in the parish or the pastor). Of course, he stuck to his position and in the moment, I said that I will forgo my mother as a sponsor because our paperwork was approaching deadline status.

However, I am not happy about this situation whatsoever. Being Catholic cannot mean that I don't have certain rights set down by the church because a parish secretary and a man 2 or 3 years removed from seminary tell me I don't. I take this sacrament (and my new faith) extremely seriously so I want the BEST godparent possible for my children. I don't want to go to the pastor and complain and I don't want to be defiant, but I still want to employ my rights as a Catholic. What should I do?


#2

Go to the Pastor. He"s the one who needs to correct his fellow priest.


#3

Yes. Calmly, politely, and in all charity.


#4

Am I right that my mother can be a godparent? Why would the priest think she could not?


#5

[quote="Clupbert, post:4, topic:331012"]
Am I right that my mother can be a godparent? Why would the priest think she could not?

[/quote]

No clue why he'd think that. All I can find in canon law says that the parents of the person being baptized cannot serve as godparents. (874.1)

vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P2Y.HTM

I really think you should talk to the pastor and ask him why you're being refused this.


#6

Sorry, I'm not sure what you should do as far as getting the priest to allow your mom to be the Godmother, but I have some first-hand experience with a very similar situation, so I thought I would share.

My SIL asked her mom (my MIL) to be the Godmother to her second-born, who was born just a few weeks before my son.

To say that this created an awkward situation is putting it mildly. Grandmothers should love all of their grandchildren, and this set up a scenario where the grandmother should have a 'more special' bond with one of the grandchildren and treat them with special 'favor' on holidays and birthdays.

It also made it seem that we, somehow, didn't think 'enough' of my MIL to have her as a Godparent to our son. (Not that you have this situation...it was just another complicating factor). Our reason was that the only time I ever saw her in church was a wedding or baptism, not even Easter and for Christmas she attended Lutheran service with her mom.

I just re-read your question and realized that you were not speaking to your pastor. That would be my next move. I would ask the pastor to clarify the church's position for you and help you to understand the difference between what you are reading in cannon law and what the other priest is telling you. Hopefully if you approach it as a learning experience and that you want his help so that you can 'be sure you understand', it won't come across as confrontational etc.

HTH!


#7

Is would certainly go to your Priest directly to resolve and if that does not work you should defer to your Bishop. This is a serious matter that should not be caught up in parish politics.


#8

=Clupbert;10914554]So my wife and I were confirmed through RCIA at the Easter vigil and we're going through the process to baptize our children and convalidate our marriage in a few weeks. My mother is a good catholic and the reason why we also came in to the church. I am personally adamant about her being a godmother to my children, but my priest who is administering our sacraments is claiming that only in case of an emergency is a grandparent allowed to be a godparent. I had brought this up twice and was as insistent as I could be without being openly confrontational until today- the parish secretary was on us for turning in our paperwork and so I printed out some stuff that shows canon law allows grandparents and she basically didn't even want to hear it. She told me that she was pretty sure that grandparents can't be godparents either and that no matter, we should just listen to the priest because he is our spiritual adviser. She then called him to confirm that he is right in this dispute (as opposed to one of the other priests in the parish or the pastor). Of course, he stuck to his position and in the moment, I said that I will forgo my mother as a sponsor because our paperwork was approaching deadline status.

However, I am not happy about this situation whatsoever. Being Catholic cannot mean that I don't have certain rights set down by the church because a parish secretary and a man 2 or 3 years removed from seminary tell me I don't. I take this sacrament (and my new faith) extremely seriously so I want the BEST godparent possible for my children. I don't want to go to the pastor and complain and I don't want to be defiant, but I still want to employ my rights as a Catholic. What should I do?

MY DEAR friend in Christ!

I fear your missing the point; perhaps because it HAS NOT been made sufficiently clear.

The issue IS NOT 'can it be doen" [it "can"]
But SHOULD it be doen? [No, it most often /nearly always] is not a good idea.

:) AND HERE"S WHY

This is not an emotional decision by the Church

The responsibilites of God parents are VERY Serious and profound

They COMMIT to God; to the Church; to YOU and the Mrs and to the "child" to INSURE that they will be RASIED fully in the Catholic Faith. It is a VERY serious obligation.

Logic seems to indicate that because of AGE the God parents you desire will LIKELY [yes it is God's call] die before you and the Mrs. And perhaps even bofore the child is of sufficient age to make their own choices. Thus exposing the child to the SUPPORT God parents ARE Obligated to PROVIDE. This then is the MOTIVE behind what the Pastor and the Church advocate.

It is a PRUDENT person who takes the ADVISW of His Priest:thumbsup:

May I humbly suggest you PRAY about this.:)

God Bless you both and WELCOEM HOME!
patrick


#9

I emailed my pastor calmly; I appreciate everyone's counsel. I understand the age recommendation- my parents are 50 & 51 and are healthy so I expect that God willing they should live until my children are adults.


#10

[quote="Clupbert, post:9, topic:331012"]
I emailed my pastor calmly; I appreciate everyone's counsel. I understand the age recommendation- my parents are 50 & 51 and are healthy so I expect that God willing they should live until my children are adults.

[/quote]

Stand your ground. Yes, you certainly do have rights under canon law and the priest cannot refuse your choice of sponsor because she is the grandparent of the child.


#11

[quote="PJM, post:8, topic:331012"]
MY DEAR friend in Christ!

I fear your missing the point; perhaps because it HAS NOT been made sufficiently clear.

The issue IS NOT 'can it be doen" [it "can"]
But SHOULD it be doen? [No, it most often /nearly always] is not a good idea.

:) AND HERE"S WHY

This is not an emotional decision by the Church

The responsibilites of God parents are VERY Serious and profound

They COMMIT to God; to the Church; to YOU and the Mrs and to the "child" to INSURE that they will be RASIED fully in the Catholic Faith. It is a VERY serious obligation.

Logic seems to indicate that because of AGE the God parents you desire will LIKELY [yes it is God's call] die before you and the Mrs. And perhaps even bofore the child is of sufficient age to make their own choices. Thus exposing the child to the SUPPORT God parents ARE Obligated to PROVIDE. This then is the MOTIVE behind what the Pastor and the Church advocate.

It is a PRUDENT person who takes the ADVISW of His Priest:thumbsup:

May I humbly suggest you PRAY about this.:)

God Bless you both and WELCOEM HOME!
patrick

[/quote]

I disagree. At 58 I became a godmother for the 3rd time. My friends became godparents for their granddaughters when they were also in their late 50's. They are stil around to welcome their great granddaughter.

You pick the people who can best do the job NOW and hope they'll be around for a long time.


#12

It is possible that your pastor has a specific concern about your mother being your child's sponsor (other than the fact she is a grandparent)? For example, does your mother not attend Mass every week, is she in an irregular marriage or cohabiting, is she not confirmed? Those are the only reasons offhand I can think of which would disqualify your mother from being a godmother.
If your pastor insists, then I suggest you call the diocesan Vicar General to discuss this with him, and ask him how to proceed.


#13

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