Can (should) a Catholic become a godparent for a non-catholic (other Christian denomination)?
No, a Catholic cannot be a sponsor for a non-Catholic baptism.
An apologist answered this just the other day: Is it OK for a Catholic to be godparent to a CofE child?
He cited the Directory on Ecumenism: 98 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.
Note that a non-Catholic can’t be a godparent to a Catholic child nor may a Catholic be the godparent for a non-Catholic child, but in either case the person can serve as a Christian witness.
But it seems that one can be a “witness” to that?
Well, anyone in attendance is a witness to the baptism.
Lets look at this from a logical standpoint … a God Parent is not just a ceremonial title - it comes with a distinct responsibility to:
1] assist the parents in the religious upbringing of the child in the faith;
2] be an example of the faith for the child;
3] share in the communal faith and worship life of the child;
4] be prepared to take responsibility for the teaching the faith to the child if the parents fail to so so, are unable to do so …
So how can a faithful practicing Catholic going to promise to fulfill all of the above? Can you share fully in the faith that you are professing to assist the parents with in regards to this child?
Would you share in their first communion experience?
Would you be able to explain to them why you won’t partake communion in their Church of XYZ and why they would not be able to share the Eucharist in your Parish St X… All the while telling them how important it is to adhere to the tenets and faith of Church XYZ?
I think there is very good reason why this should not be the case … even though I know people have made valiant efforts along this line.
When I lived on a Reservation as a kid in the 1960s - I had a friend whose parents were unable to care for their children [alcoholism and physical abuse] - the state stepped in and took the younger ones into foster care - my friend, the eldest, lived with her grandparents. Her grandfather was a Pentecostal Christian but her parents were Catholic - and her grandfather drove her to Mass every single Sunday and to CCD … but he did not share in the faith life and it was hard for her - hard to understand, hard to grow in her faith.