My sister who was raised and confirmed Catholic married a non-Christian in a Catholic ceremony (not a Catholic Mass), she recently had a baby and asked me to be a Baptism sponsor in which the baby will be baptized in a Methodist church. The baptism vows are vague and mention nothing of raising the child Methodist or professing and living the Methodist faith, just Christian. As a Catholic should I accept or decline? Thanks
You may attend as a witness to the baptism, but not as a sponsor.
While the baptismal vows sound vague and noncommittal, by standing up as a sponsor, you are “standing as guarantees of the candidate’s faith and desire for ecclesial communion” (Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism).
- It is the Catholic understanding that godparents, in a liturgical and canonical sense, should themselves be members of the Church or ecclesial Community in which the baptism is being celebrated. They do not merely undertake a responsibility for the Christian education of the person being baptized (or confirmed) as a relation or friend; they are also there as representatives of a community of faith, standing as guarantees of the candidate’s faith and desire for ecclesial communion.
a) However, based on the common baptism and because of ties of blood or friendship, a baptized person who belongs to another ecclesial Community may be admitted as a witness to the baptism, but only together with a Catholic godparent. A Catholic may do the same for a person being baptized in another ecclesial Community.
Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism
Canon 874 §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.