My niece recently had a baby and has asked her sister who is a lesbian and living with her lesbian lover to be the baby’s godmother. My conscience tells me this should not be allowed since the godmother makes a promise that in the parents absence she will bring up the child as a good catholic. If a priest goes ahead and agrees to this and allows the baptism of the child, what would my obligation be? Do I report him to the bishop or do I speak to him direct? Can you tell me where I can find where it goes against our Catholic faith?
The lesbian will not be baptising the baby - she will be a tiny as godparent. It’s important to get the terminology right.
Now - firstly will she be the only godparent? If not, she can and should probably be a witness rather than a godparent.
Secondly, does the priest even know she is lesbian? If you know for a fact that he does and is still prepared for her to be the child’s godparent, then you firstly might want to have a word with him about it - but not an argument, as you might not have all the facts. If he does indicate that he is deliberately ignoring church directives/practice, then you might bring the matter to the bishop’s attention.
Let’s look at the Code of Canon Law (with my emphasis):
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.
I would argue since the prospective godmother is living in a state of sin (with her partner), she is not “leading a life of faith”.
It would be wise to speak to your friend or the pastor about this.
I very much agree.
Michelle Arnold and Peggy Frye both wrote CA Blogs on Godparenting in the last 10 days or so. I highly recommend taking a few minutes to check them out.
I agree partly, if this person is Catholic and not living according to the Church teachings, then she does not qualify as a God Parent. This is where your statement is different from canon law; a Catholic who is not qualified to be God parent cannot serve as a Christian Witness, a non-Catholic can but not a Catholic.
Go talk to the priest to be sure he has all the information. He may have more than you do, but he may have none. I see this all the time, I handle the preparation for baptism for my parish and many people don’t tell the whole story; mostly because of ignorance, many people just don’t realize it matters. However, many do know but are obstinate and try to go around the requirements. Sad time we live in, everything is blurred and there are no definite truths.