Godparents for Baptism


Hello, everyone…
I know that these questions are probably already ‘solved’ in other threads, but there’s too many to wade through and the search doesn’t seem to lead me to the a post that contains I’m looking for.

With regards to Baptized Roman Catholics standing as Godparent for a Baptism:
-I know that if they are single, there is no big problem
-I know that if they are married in the Church, there is no problem
-I know that if they are divorced but not re-married, there is no problem
-I know that if they are divorced, granted anullment, seeking re-marriage, there are no big problems [so long as there are no ‘issues’ with the re-marriage]
-I know that if they are divorced and (attempting to be) re-married with no anullment, they can;t be a Godparent

What of the case of those civilly married?
-My understanding is that their marriage needs to be convalidated by the Church in order for them to be able to stand as Godparent for Baptism…

Is my understanding of these correct? Thanks so much!


In order to be a godparent, the person needs to be a practicing Catholic in good standing. Part of being in “good standing” is not being in an irregular marriage situation. A Catholic who chooses to get married in a civil service with no dispensation of form would be in an irregular marriage situation.

Yes, the person would need to talk to their priest and get that straightened out first.


Canon Law:


Can. 872 In so far as possible, a person being baptised is to be assigned a sponsor. In the case of an adult baptism, the sponsor’s role is to assist the person in christian initiation. In the case of an infant baptism, the role is together with the parents to present the child for baptism, and to help it to live a christian life befitting the baptised and faithfully to fulfil the duties inherent in baptism.

Can. 873 One sponsor, male or female, is sufficient; but there may be two, one of each sex.

Can. 874 §1 To be admitted to undertake the office of sponsor, a person must:

1° be appointed by the candidate for baptism, or by the parents or whoever stands in their place, or failing these, by the parish priest or the minister; to be appointed the person must be suitable for this role and have the intention of fulfilling it;

2° be not less than sixteen years of age, unless a different age has been stipulated by the diocesan Bishop, or unless the parish priest or the minister considers that there is a just reason for an exception to be made;

3° be a catholic who has been confirmed and has received the blessed Eucharist, and who lives a life of faith which befits the role to be undertaken;

4° not labour under a canonical penalty, whether imposed or declared;

5° not be either the father or the mother of the person to be baptised.

§2 A baptised person who belongs to a non-catholic ecclesial community may be admitted only in company with a catholic sponsor, and then simply as a witness to the baptism.


This is another point to remember. Just because someone is an adult Catholic, you can’t assume they’ve been confirmed. You have to ask them.



Thanks so much, everyone!
I’m trying to get this down packed because we are running into issues with our pastor who, in the name of “pastoral care and Vatican II” has asked that some be excused from these rules.
I don’t want to be against the pastor but I also want to uphold Church Law.

I humbly ask you all for prayers for him, and for us who have to deal with these inconsistencies and irregularities.


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