Can a God Parent be "annulled" "absolved" or "replaced?"


#1

If your child’s Godparent is found to be in a state of rather serious sin, can he/she be “annulled?” Obviously it might be called something else, but if a marriage can be disolved by such a betrayel, what about the role of Godparent? Especially if you find that s/he took the duty and role of Godparent, lied to the parents and the Church about his/her sin, and entered into the sacrament under false pretense?

Can this role be absolved? Maybe the baptismal certificate cannot be changed, but can an official “replacement” can be noted and identified in the church?

This isn’t about forgiveness on our part, of which I may forgive (won’t say I am not hurt about the blatant lying.) but what to do for our children’s sake in an official and honest capacity within the Church and their relationship with a God Parent.

Oh yes, for your information and consideration in answering this question: the sin was abortion.

Despite all this drama, what if a God Parent dies? Is a replacement God Parent acceptable?


#2

In the same sense as you propose, like a Marriage Anullment, If you can prove that no Baptism ever actually took place because of some impediment to the valid celebration of the Sacrament , then yes.

Otherwise no, the original Godparent names may not be removed for the Baptismal register.


#3

No. The primary role of Godparent is to witness the baptism. That is a point-in-time action. They witnessed it, they signed the papers. They are the witness of record for the baptism.

No.

The Godparent’s state of grace in no way impacts the validity of the baptism.

You, the parents, can choose someone else to be your child’s special spiritual mentor. They can be honorary “godparents” although they are not the official baptismal sponsor. The church would not note any sort of replacement.

You/your child can then select them or someone entirely different for the Confirmation sponsor.

If they have repented and are now leading a life as a practicing Catholic, they can continue to be the child’s active role model. After all there is no need to tell the child about the Godparent’s prior sins-- we are all sinners.

If the person is no longer practicing, or you are cutting ties with them, then choose someone else or no one else to be a spiritual helper.

No, there is no provision for a “replacement” Godparent. Again, you can encourage a relationship with someone-- a friend or relative-- that you put into a special role. The Godparent witnessed the baptism, and again that is a historical fact. They can develop a relationship with someone else and ask that someone else to be the Confirmation sponsor when the time comes.


#4

I am confused.

Are you saying that something on the part of Godparents can impede the validity of a Baptism?

Or are you just saying that Godparents can never be replaced?


#5

Goodness, I don’t think anything so drastic has to happen. Can’t you simply stop having such a close relationship with that person and cultivate a similar relationship with someone else?

My Godparents were my aunt and uncle, but due to distance, they never really operated in that capacity. But other family friends stepped in to help my parents, and later I developed mentoring type relationships on my own.

My own children’s Godparents are not practicing now, so we have had to develop new relationships, but it never occurred to me to ammend the baptismal certificate or get a replacement made.


#6

Oh please understand, I am not striking out in anger, or in vengance – I just needed to know if I had to do anything “official” about this. I think I put in my original post I know that certificate won’t be changed, and that’s ok, I just wondered if there was more I had to do in regards to an honory spiritual advisor. I have absolutely NO experience with this situation, and don’t know anyone that has. I am just asking, that’s all.

If my original post sounded dramatic, again, I am a bit hurt, but beyond that, I have my own guilt in this situation. I’ll deal with that in reconciliation. This has been a very difficult journey for everyone involved, and yes, ties MOST DIFINITELY had to be cut - for now. I think she may need me soon and with God’s help I’ll decide my bestt course of action.

I guess maybe anyone who reads this post can say prayer for my children’s Godmother. In this I have learned a whole lot about abortion, like it doesn’t just kill an innocent child, but kills the innocence of the mother too. My friend went from being a sweet, giving, honest, and wonderful practicing Catholic who’s faith I admired…to a compulsive lying, cheating, adulterating, manipulative woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown. You can literally see it in her face, she looks haggard. I am so terribly sad about this. I have tried to council with her, I have tried to talk with her, but it’s just lie on top of lie on top of lie. She has alienated MOST of her friendships. All of us are worried about her. But she’s an adult and there is just nothing we can do. I do pray for her daily. I do want to be there for her if it does come down to her having to be hospitilized. This is just very sad, and for now, it’s actually dangerous to be around her. She throws tantrums, literally throwing items at people. She’s jumped out of a moving car. I can’t have this kind of nonsense around my children or my husband. Who by the way, being a recipient of one of her tantrum’s has practically forbidden me to see her or expose myself to any of it.

Yes please say a prayer for her, and thank you for allowing me to vent that, or reading it if you come across it. I haven’t really spoken much about this to anyone, except another friend of hers who had to have the police called because it was so insane.

Bless her heart, I hope she get’s help. :frowning:

And thank you, all of you for answering my questions regarding this situation.


#7

KC–sounds like the situation is much more serious with your friend, than whether she should stay a Godparent. I will pray for her!


#8

You are absolutely right. This BASIC question of “what do I do about this in the formal manner?” is why I came to Catholic Answers. But as I wrote this I realized that there is a whole lot more here that I am concerned about than the “what do I do officially” question.

The letter I wrote to the apologists yesterday was full of strife and some anger too. This does effect me deeply, it’s heartbreaking.

Self realization is GRAND isn’t it? Thank you all for your answers and your prayers.


#9

She needs post abortion counseling, pronto.

Call the local crisis pregnancy center and get the name and # of the local post-abortion ministry in your area.


#10

I asked the very same question. My daughter’s Godmother left the Church and became a “Born Again” Christian.:crying: Because she broke her promise that she made, to help teach the Catholic faith, I wondered if I could replace her. :confused:
The Father said no.:nope: Baptism is a one time deal. Ephesians 4:5
The Godmother may have broken her oath but she was not alone that day. We her parents also made an oath. Now he said you could have someone be a mentor of the Catholic faith. :yup:
The role of teaching our daughter about our Catholic faith never left our hands.:dts: We are the primary teachers of our children. :yup: The role of Godparents is to make sure the parents do their duty,and raise that child in the Catholic Church.That being said, it sounds as if you are trying to do that.:thumbsup: What do you need a Godparent for?:shrug:


#11

I asked the very same question. My daughter’s Godmother left the Church and became a “Born Again” Christian.:crying: Because she broke her promise that she made, to help teach the Catholic faith, I wondered if I could replace her. :confused:
The Father said no.:nope: Baptism is a one time deal. Ephesians 4:5
The Godmother may have broken her oath but she was not alone that day. We her parents also made an oath. Now he said you could have someone be a mentor of the Catholic faith. :yup:
The role of teaching our daughter about our Catholic faith never left our hands.:dts: We are the primary teachers of our children. :yup: The role of Godparents is to make sure the parents do their duty,and raise that child in the Catholic Church.That being said, it sounds as if you are trying to do that.:thumbsup: What do you need a Godparent for?:shrug:

Ps. my daughter’s Godmother is my older sister.


#12

bear in mind the parents are also listed on the baptismal certificate. If one of them breaks their vows, and is no longer bears the faith in which they brought the child to baptism, their name is not struck from the record. The godparent is the person who witnessed the baptism, representing the whole Church, so that historical fact cannot be changed, therefore the record of the event cannot be changed. I hope the godchild will continue to pray for the godparent in such dire need of prayer, and have confidence that the prayers of children are powerful and availeth much.


#13

My daughter’s Godmother is my older sister:(
I’m praying for her return. :gopray2:


#14

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.