Choosing Godparents


My husband and I are having a dispute over the future godmother of our infant son. The issues that worry me are: she is living in a common-law partnership with her boyfriend, without being married, and has two children with him; they do not go to Mass, at all; she has had an abortion a few years ago; and they are currently using birth control. My husband, however, believes that it’s more important that she and her boyfriend are good, honest, hardworking people, good parents to their kids, and the rest is not our business. I do worry, however, what influence all this might have on our children, especially our son, and if she is suitable to be his godmother.
My husband believes that we should not be ‘fanatics’, and we must not be ungrateful to her for all the help she has povided for us.
Choosing a godparent is very important. We were blessed with wonderful godparents for our girls (we were Eastern Orthodox when they were born and baptized), so I can appreciate how important a good godparent, with strong faith and morals is. However, we’ve only been Catholic for about a year now, and really have no other options for a godmother/godfather. That being said, I’m still uncomfortable with this lady being our son’s godmother, despite my deepest gratitude and respect for her.
I asked the same question in the Ask an Apologist forum, and we will talk to our priest as well. However, the Church, and most priests, in Quebec, where we live, are very liberal, so I would like to hear other people’s experiences and thoughts on this issue. I did find the canons and requirements for choosing a godparent at this address:
but they seem to not be enough to convince me husband that this lady might not be a suitable choice for a godmother. So any and all help will be appreciated!
Also, could this lady be, for example, a Christian witness, instead of Godmother?
Thanks in advance for all replies!!


When choosing Godparents for my children, being a Catholic in good standing (especially going to Mass every weekend) is a must, so I understand where you’re coming from! Because of this, my husband and I choose the same lady every time, and she’s in her 80s.

Is she the only Catholic you know?

As far as I understand it, you must have at least one Godparent (Godmother or Godfather) who is Catholic, and then anyone else (who’s Christian) can be a Christian witness, in addition to the Godparent. I don’t think you can have a Christian witness instead of a Godparent.


As difficult is it might be, I think you need to stick to your guns on this one. A Godparent’s role is to guide your child in the faith. How will she accomplish this if she doesn’t even go to Mass?

As for the other stuff…yeah, it’s hard. I mean, you want this person to provide a good example for your child, and the living together thing in particular could be confusing. Then again, my God father is now an athiest, so I’m one to talk! :smiley:

The thing is, we’re all sinners on one level or another, so you’re never going to find the “perfect” Godparent. But I think it’s important that you choose someone who will be able to (especially in your absence) guide and support your child in the Catholic faith. It sounds like this couple, while they might be great people, aren’t going to be able to do that.


I dont know about this situation… I know some people will disagree with this… But here I go… Its not like your son will be living with this woman. You and your husband will be guiding your son in his faith. Me and my sister both have godparents that dont go to church (they are relatives and they live in Canada, we live in Georgia) so they are not really around here that much either! Anyways my parents go to mass every Sunday and have raised us with good values and morals… Therefore, it is important to have a good God-mother but I dont think it will turn him into a man who will not get married, and allow people to have abortions if you see what I’m getting at.
If she is the only other Catholic you know then you probably have to go with her!
Godbless your new addition to the family!


Well at our parish and many others, the Pastor requires a letter from the Godparent’s Pastor stating that they are Catholics in good standing in order for them to have that role.

It doesn’t sound like this person would be able to get such a letter.

Find out what your parish requires.

I would not choose her for a Godmother myself. A Godparent is supposed to help the parents guide the child in faith and must state their willingness to do so at the baptism.


The responsibility of the Godparents really kicks in if the parents die. That’s not to say that the Godparents would necessarily be guardians, but they would be responsible for continuing that child’s education in the faith.


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