Can an SSPX attendee be a godparent?

I am due to give birth to my first child by the end of the year, and my husband and I are deciding on Godparents. His brother is an SSPX member, and we were considering naming him as The Godfather. I didn’t think about it until now, but can an SSPX Catholic be a legitimate Godparent given the irregular status of the society?

Update- I went to confession this afternoon and asked my priest and he said no…:cry:

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I’m not sure of the canon law issue, but I don’t see why not. First off, the laity are not members of the SSPX. An individual who attends the SSPX is still a Catholic, and is still technically subject to his local Bishop even if he never attends a diocesan parish. Pope Francis’s decrees allowing people to receive reconciliation from SSPX clergy implies that he sees chapel attendees as under his jurisdiction, otherwise he would not be able to grant such permission. Also, an Orthodox Christian can serve as a godparent as long as there is a second Catholic godparent. I can’t imagine that it would be any stricter for an SSPX attendee. Check with your priest though.

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CIC (Latin Canon Law)

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.

§2. A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community is not to participate except together with a Catholic sponsor and then only as a witness of the baptism.

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Lay people are not SSPX Catholics. SSPX is a society of priests.

The question is, is the Catholic you are considering as godparent a Catholic in good standing with the Church and do they meet the canon law criteria?

Personally whether I would have a person who is dedicated to attending an SSPX chapel as a godparent would depend on why they attend SSPX and what sort of influence I thought they would have on my child. Some people attending SSPX are perfectly lovely, others are a bit wackadoodle.


We don’t know for sure he attends only the SSPX. Since SSPX doesn’t have lay members, or parishes, or pastors, the only parish anyone could belong to is a diocesan parish; all parishes, even those with Religious orders, are diocesan.

EO Christians do belong to parishes. So they have pastors.

His closest geographic parish would be his legal default “parish”. He could talk with the pastor there, explain he has no issues against the mainstream Church, and goes to Mass weekly.

That priest his default pastor could write a recommendation.

My son’s godfather was an SSPX adherent, and the DRE of our parish, aware of this fact, had absolutely no problem recommending him as a Catholic in good standing. And we are talking about a fairly liberal parish.

But then again, in the loosest sense, I am an “SSPX adherent” as well, i.e., I will attend their Masses when the opportunity arises, though as a practical matter, it’s been many years since I’ve been there. I have diocesan TLMs available at roughly the same distance, so there is no need.

The issue is not so much whether visiting an SSPX chapel would disqualify, but rather is this person known to, belong to, have some connections to a parish. You obviously do.

I know one older lady who frequently visits the SSPX chapel, but in conversation she clearly regards a local parish as “my parish”, even if she’s not totally thrilled about it.

I would be more concerned about the younger generation that grew up in SSPX, their only formation was there, never had a connection to any parish.

I would be more concerned about the younger generation that grew up with barely any religious instruction, no formation beyond the initial sacraments, and no real connection to a parish than I would about children reared in the SSPX.


I can’t see any reason why not. They are Catholic, they attend a different Mass but it’s indeed valid. I’d ask your priest to document why he said that.

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What does SSPX require regarding godparents? “Any practicing Catholic” willing to do the godparent role?

or are there further parameters?

Couldn’t agree more. My son’s religious education consists entirely of homeschooling, and due to a variety of factors (private family matter, it’s complicated), he is not ready for confirmation and it’s not clear when he will be ready for confirmation. When that time comes, in all likelihood we will approach the SSPX, as much for practical reasons, as preference for traditional Latin rites, as our diocese has so many “hoops to jump through” for homeschoolers, it’s really not workable. They could be much more pastoral than they are, let’s just put it that way.


They go by Canon Law, so a Catholic in good standing.

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Which Code? The 1983 or the 1917?

GodServant seems to be suspended, so I will answer for him!

They go by the 1983 Code :slight_smile:
They are still part of the Church, after all!

The Pope has made it clear that Catholics who go to the SSPX “for whatever reason” (his ipsissima verba) are Catholics in good standing.

Of course they can be godparents.


I find it so odd that people think that those who go to SSPX Masses are “members of SSPX “. Would you think that a person going to a Franciscan Mass is a Franciscan?


Well, that depends. Are there Franciscan chapels where the attendees only marry other Franciscan chapel attendees, and they only socialize with other Franciscan chapel attendees, and they actively shun non-Franciscan-chapel Catholics?


It doesn’t matter. If you don’t join the order, you aren’t a Franciscan.

“Franciscan” public Masses are under the jurisdiction of the diocese. Actually all parishes are diocesan parishes, even if staffed by a religious order.

The Laity who attend religious order staffed parishes are diocesan laity, under the Ordinary, not under any Religious order superior.

The Jesuit diocesan parish I sometimes attend is assessed to support the diocese, follows all diocesan regulations for public ministry, including Covid. The priests have a Jesuit provincial, but even they are also accountable to the bishop.

The situation with Laity attending SSPX chapels is different. Some attend the chapel sometimes, and their parish other times. But others may be different.

Sorry but it’s still not possible for a layman to be a member of SSPX unless he has joined their third order (which is extremely small. Everyone else who goes to an SSPX Mass is simply a Catholic going to an SSPX Mass.

To be a member of anything you must at least becon a list or pay a sub. Which isn’t the case.

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