Godparenthood and Priesthood

Priests are discouraged from taking up the role of godfathers, since they are already busy and it might cause confusion in the role. What about men who are already godfathers before entering the priesthood? Should they remain to be godfathers and carry out the related duties, or should they entrust the role to another person? Also, for men discerning priestly vocations, should they also refrain from accepting the role of godfather?

I’m a priest and I have two goddaughters. What do you think the duties are, such that a priest or one in discernment shouldn’t do it?


That’s news to me. Discouraged by whom? Where did you get this idea?

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My oldest’s godfather is her uncle who became a priest a couple years ago. He has not had to abdicate his role as godfather since his ordination. As a matter of fact, we were able to arrange it for him to be the priest for the Mass where she received her First Communion and it was wonderfully touching.


In the past, canon law stated that it was illicit for them to be godfathers, without permission. That changed in 1983. I suppose “discouragement” might still be present, for the same reasons that supported the old law, in some places or from some people. I, too, would be interested to know where you have seen discouragement.

I don’t see how they have any other choice.

That would seem to be up to them, ultimately. However, I would support their discussing it with their vocation director or someone in authority in their diocese: it would be wise to see what the mind of the bishop is.



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