Defending Godparents


I would like to know what others believe the role of a godparent is.

My mother is my cousin’s godmother. My mother told me that the purpose of a godparent is to instruct the child in the faith if the actual parents fail to do so.

Recently at a party I overheard this cousin laughing with her sister about how ‘literally’ my mother takes her role as a godparent. I was quite offended, I think being a godparent is more than just a title and anyone who takes this role seriously is doing a good thing.


Your aunt is quite smug. And, clearly quite wrong:

CCC 1255 For the grace of Baptism to unfold, the parents’ help is important. So too is the role of the godfather and godmother, who must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized - child or adult on the road of Christian life. Their task is a truly ecclesial function (officium). The whole ecclesial community bears some responsibility for the development and safeguarding of the grace given at Baptism.

Can. 872 Insofar as possible, a person to be baptized is to be given a sponsor who assists an adult in Christian initiation or together with the parents presents an infant for baptism.** A sponsor also helps the baptized person to lead a Christian life in keeping with baptism and to fulfill faithfully the obligations inherent in it.**


I am a Godfather to many nephews. When they see me coming they know they better have answers for my questions: Have you been attending mass regularly? How’s that confirmation coming? What’s going on in your prayer life? - Some roll their eyes, some are actively engaged as altar boys, etc.

I take my job seriously and they know it. I think I would mention to your cousin how fortunate she is that she has a godmother who is genuinely concerned for her faith journey - that’s love and she may discount it, but it’s a spiritual gift and should be cherished.


I take my role seriously too as a godfather. Recently, I learned that my godchild who lives out of state is getting married outside of the church. So I sent her a letter, an email, have left voicemails to her about my great concern of her marrying outside of the church. I also told her mother who asked me over 25 years ago to be her godparent what I was doing. My sister told me, that I was too old-fashioned and the church should get with the times. I am praying very hard on this. Pray for me, that this will end happily. I am hoping that my godchild is just ignorant of the fact, that even if she is marrying someone of a different faith, she can still comply with the rules of the Church, so that she can still receive sacraments,and receive the many graces of this holy and wonderful sacrament.

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