Godparent Issues!



We are getting our daughter Christened and have picked godparents.
I have picked a good friend and a great parent. My husband on the other hand wants his brother.

Let me just say he just got out of jail for selling drugs, 5 years, and had to pay fines to fly out to be here. Oh and he does not have the money to pay them. Guess who is trying to get it from -
I can understand my husband wanting his brother, but I think it’s a disgrace to pick someone like this to be godfather.

Please give me some advice here. I have told him to pick someone else. We can’t afford to pay his fines and I am sure airfare too


I agree that a better choice for godparent can be made. But, he is your husband’s brother, and it’s a sticky issue. Has your husband asked his brother to be the godparent?

As far as his not having money to fly out (and to pay his fines) - he does not have to be present to serve as godparent. He will have to have a record of his sacraments sent to your parish, and will go on record as your child’s godparent. With any luck, this process alone will eliminate him from serving, and it wouldn’t be your fault; it will be his. Talk to your priest as soon as possible about this option.


Are you Catholics?

The friend you chose and the brother-in-law must both meet Canon Law requirements for godparents, and be of opposite sex. A child may have a sponsor of each sex, but not two of one sex.

Catholic Godparents must meet the requirements of Canon Law. Are this friend and the brother-in-law confirmed, practicing Catholics in good standing with the Church?

If so, there is no problem canonically, although choosing someone fresh out of jail is questionable-- especially one who was selling drugs. Has he reformed his life?

A Godparent does not have to attend the baptism, there is the possibility of a proxy being used.


Direct from the Vatican web sites:
From your description it does not sound as if your BIL has reformed his life, and as a parent, I would be skeptical, too.

Your friend is a female right?

Do you know that you only need ONE godparent? It sounds to me that, despite the family disharmony, maybe your friend in the best bet.

IF IT WAS ME, I’d leave BIL whereever he is that involves airfare and fines. I’d keep the friend, provided she meets the criteria for a godparent per canon law.


When having a discussion on the choice of godparents at the latest Baptism Preparation session I mentioned that I had had no great understanding of the role of godparents so the ones I had picked, relatives all because it was expected, were less than ideal and I’d replace 5 of the 6 if that were possible. One mom-to-be said, “I solved that problem by saying, ‘You already will have a major role in this child’s life, you’ll be his aunt, so someone else gets to assume the role of Godmother.’”




Thank you all for your advice. It is a sticky situation to say the least. I do want to respect that it is my husband,'s brother, but I also expect husband to use good judgment as a chosen role model for our daughter. hopefully the fines that need to be paid will be the answer and he will no be the godfather.

Thank you again!


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.