Dedication

Hi,

I’m Catholic and I have been asked to be a Godmother, not a Catholic Christening but a “Dedication” in a Baptist church. Is it a sin for me to accept the invitation?

No, Catholics cannot sponsor or be godparents to those of other faiths.

Attend, bring a gift and pray for the child every day!

How very odd - about the only thing Baptists have as a common belief is that they only practice “believer’s baptism” (no babies). And I’ve never heard of godparents in any Baptist baptism.

Since the Godparents commit to helping to bring the child up in the faith I don’t think you could honestly make that commitment in a non-Catholic church.

I don’t think sin is the right word.

Part of the role of the godmother is to serve as a role model for the child and show him or her what it means to be…hmmm…normally I would end that sentence with “what it means to be a Catholic Christian.” But the child isn’t Catholic. And you can’t be a role model of what it means to be a Baptist.

In a Catholic baptism there must be a Catholic godparent. But there can also be a non-Catholic Christian who can be a Christian witness to the baptism. I don’t know canon law well enough to be able to say it works the other way as well, but it makes sense to me that it would and that a Catholic could be a Christian witness to the baptism of a child in another Christian community.

Perhaps you should talk with your pastor about it.

Thank you for the comments!

Yes, that was my first thought. I couldn’t possibly be a good role model for the child if I am not a Baptist. Anyhow, you should know that the mother is a single mom and she doesn’t even go to their church. Her parents were Catholics who converted to Baptist. Honestly, she doesn’t know the difference between being a Catholic vs being a Protestant, however she was born/baptised in the Catholic church until the parents converted.

My thoughts of taking the offer (being a Godparent) is for me to be able (one day, if given the chance) teach the child about Catholicism. Is this a wrong excuse?

I’m not sure, like the other posters, if a Catholic would be allowed to do this or not. It would be a good way to teach the child about the Church, but I suspect if you have a good relationship with the mother, and if she is not opposed to it, you could likely do this without being a godparent as well. Why not ask your priest for some advice on the matter?
Better yet, if the mother was raised Catholic, you could always try and convince her to have the child baptized Catholic.

It not a “sin” to do so but as a Catholic you cannot be a “Godmother” for a child of another denomination. It presents the wrong understanding of our relationship as Separated Christian brothers and sisters.

I don’t think I can say ‘no’ now, because she has already done the invitations and maybe sent them out. I saw the card in the computer, but I couldn’t say aything about my hesitatation at that time to be a Godmother.

Yes, I think she is still a Catholic because she was baptized as one when she was a baby, but her parents converted to baptized and so did she. She got baptized again as Baptist when she got older and is no longer active in their Baptist church.

I believe her thinking about being a Godmother is: the individual who will take care of the child when something happens to parent(s) and who will give gifts on birthdays and christmas and special events.

That is a legal guardian. She will have to have a will drawn up by an attorney that makes this happen. A ceremeony in any church will not put into place a legal guardianship.

One other thing, your friend IS a Catholic, she is just non practicing. She is still bound by the Church laws on marriage and Holy Days of Obligation. Baptism at a baptist congregation and attedning there do not take away her Catholicism. Do your best to bring her back to the practice of the Faith.

Thanks again for responding to this thread! It’s providing clarity.

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