Baptism Problems


#1

HI all,

I happened to have two of my siblings who were/are getting their children baptized. Neither of them are going good. Unfortunately neither my brother or sister who are getting their children baptized are practicing. Both of them are both ignorant and stubborn on Church teachings. I talk about my brother and the Baptism of his child in this thread

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=862042

My sister just had her child Baptized today. The situation was almost identical to the one I am having with my brother in that it was a confusion/argument over Godparents/witnesses. My sister had said that she was going to have my cousin be the Godparent(My cousin is fully initiated and is a practicing and orthodox Catholic.). That seemed like a good choice to me but then she also wanted her husband’s(my brother in law) sister to be a Godparent. Well…My husband’s sister is a baptized(not confirmed)non-practicing Catholic. I talked to my sister about this and she said she would have her be a witness then. I then told her that only a non-Catholic Christian can be a witness and all she said was that the priest never said anything about this so obviously it was allowed. Now onto today, I attended the Baptism and not only was my cousin standing in the sanctuary but also my brother-in-law’s sister and one of my sister’s non-confirmed Catholic friends. I don’t know why the priest allowed three people to act as Godparents/witnesses but he did. Then, after the Baptism I looked at the certificate and under the Godparents section it listed my brother-in-laws sister and my sister’s friends as the Godparents. The priest never even knew who the Godparent was supposed to be since my sister never informed him, so he just assumed it was the other two . This leaves me with one question. Does my sister’s child even have any Godparents? The certificate lists two invalid people and doesn’t make mention of who was intended to be the valid Godparent. Is my cousin even the Godparent of my sister’s child? This situation bears way too much similarity to my Brother’s situation and all of this is so stressful and confusing.

In Christ,

Zooman


#2

It doesn’t sound like everything was done strictly to the letter, however, why would this stress you out so much? Godparents are nice but they aren’t required for a valid Baptism and even if you have very orthodox and active Godparents, they can only do as much as the parents will allow. Furthermore, any other person in the child’s life will also be setting a spiritual example for the child.


#3

Try and look on the bright side- at least the child received the Grace of Baptism without too much trouble. Some folks have no clue as to the reality of attending Baptism and the obligations being a Godparent or witness entails. They are there for varying reasons. It is the same for all the Sacraments. Some are faithful and some are not. You cannot change anything at all about another human being. The only person whose fidelity you can alter is your own. Stay faithful and be there for you niece or nephew when they ask about the faith and you’ll be able to tell them the Truth.

God bless you in your struggles.

Glenda


#4

[quote=Allegra]It doesn’t sound like everything was done strictly to the letter, however, why would this stress you out so much? Godparents are nice but they aren’t required for a valid Baptism and even if you have very orthodox and active Godparents, they can only do as much as the parents will allow. Furthermore, any other person in the child’s life will also be setting a spiritual example for the child.
[/quote]

I know that they are not required for a valid Baptism it’s just a bit frustrating to think there was a great orthodox Godparent and now it appears that the child doesn’t have any. I only get so stressed out because I care so much. I was never raised in the faith and I sure wish I had been, and so although it’s great that my siblings are Baptizing their children in the faith this is only step one of their faith journey. I want to do whatever I can to help their children grow up in the faith they were Baptized in.

[quote=glendab]Try and look on the bright side- at least the child received the Grace of Baptism without too much trouble. Some folks have no clue as to the reality of attending Baptism and the obligations being a Godparent or witness entails. They are there for varying reasons. It is the same for all the Sacraments. Some are faithful and some are not. You cannot change anything at all about another human being. The only person whose fidelity you can alter is your own. Stay faithful and be there for you niece or nephew when they ask about the faith and you’ll be able to tell them the Truth.

God bless you in your struggles.

Glenda
[/quote]

Oh I have been looking on the bright side and am very happy for my niece and will help her with her faith every step of the way.


#5

i think at this point, there’s not a whole lot you can really do. you’ve made the facts known to your sister and she chose to not listen. also, i doubt the priest knew what was going on, like you said. he probably doesn’t have enough details about your family situation. but if he does, i don’t know why he would have done it then.


#6

I think you are overly involved with both your brother and sister and are making too many judgements about what they are doing. If there are going through the Catholic church and the priest of the parish approved who they choose for God parents then it is none of your business . Some of the facts here just don’t add up or you don’t have to story strait from them. Over all its none of your business.


#7

[quote=robwar]I think you are overly involved with both your brother and sister and are making too many judgements about what they are doing. If there are going through the Catholic church and the priest of the parish approved who they choose for God parents then it is none of your business . Some of the facts here just don’t add up or you don’t have to story strait from them. Over all its none of your business.
[/quote]

In both the case of my brother and sister I was asked by them to help them understand Church teaching in each individual case. Both my brother and sister are non-practicing and they often turn to me if they have questions about the faith. In this case both of them specifically asked me to help them in each of their Baptisms. I would not be in their “business” had they not asked me to help them. As far as the facts not adding up, I have said what I know, the facts have never added up to me but this is the extent of my knowledge.


#8

For anyone that is coming forward to baptize their children, the Catholic Church does require some sort of pre-baptism classes. That is where they should go for their info from not from a well meaning family member that is practicing their faith. Just because you go to Church and they don’t but they want to baptize their children, they should be going to their parish priest or DRE etc for classes and info. Trying to skirt around the Church and go to a family member doesn’t cut it either. (This stuff has happen in my husband’s family)
Where a couple of his sisters went to the oldest one and that was to avoide doing classes through the Church. Some of the fact here don’t add up. You should be directing them to go to the classes and DRE that are trained in this.


#9

[quote=robwar]For anyone that is coming forward to baptize their children, the Catholic Church does require some sort of pre-baptism classes. That is where they should go for their info from not from a well meaning family member that is practicing their faith. Just because you go to Church and they don’t but they want to baptize their children, they should be going to their parish priest or DRE etc for classes and info. Trying to skirt around the Church and go to a family member doesn’t cut it either. (This stuff has happen in my husband’s family)
Where a couple of his sisters went to the oldest one and that was to avoide doing classes through the Church. Some of the fact here don’t add up. You should be directing them to go to the classes and DRE that are trained in this.
[/quote]

They met with the Pastor of the parish on the 13th of this month and discussed the Baptism. They never attended pre-baptism classes as the Pastor scheduled the Baptism to occur in just over a week from that date. They were only using my information as an adjunct, I was not their sole source of information. From what they told me the Pastor talked to them about the theology of Baptism and then just briefly mentioned Godparents by saying that they needed to have someone who was fully initiated and that there also could be a witness although according to my sister he didn’t elaborate on what that meant. The priest never asked for sacramental records from any proposed Godparents or anything just basically to show up with their choice.


#10

They are only three witnesses, no sponsors (godparents). The priest assured there was a witness, as required. See 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. 874 §1. To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor a person must:
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;

Can. 875 A person who administers baptism is to take care that, unless a sponsor is present, there is at least a witness who can attest to the conferral of the baptism.


#11

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