Going to Baptism?


Hi all,

I am having this dilemma that is really bothering me. One of my brothers is having his child baptized. He is a non-practicing Catholic and his fiancee too is a non-practicing Catholic. However, both of them want to start practicing again and get married in the Church, along with raising their child in the Church. They met with a priest(Just a few days ago) and the Baptism of their child is scheduled for next Sunday. They asked me to be the Godparent which I was happy to be. However, they also wanted one of my other brothers(who is baptized Catholic but not confirmed) to be the “Witness”. I politely went over Canon Law with my Brother(since he does not know the laws well and he had mentioned that he wanted me to help him learn the faith) and informed him that only a non-Catholic Baptized Christian could be a witness. To this he got quite angry and told me that I was “Ruining the Baptism”. He no longer wants me to be the Godparent and is just being absolutely ridiculous about it. My question is, should I even go to the Baptism? I fully support the child and hope to help her grow up in the faith but I just am confused as to whether I should even go now. Any suggestions?

In Christ,



If a non catholic Christian can be a witness why can’t a baptised catholic?


The other brother should have been Confirmed. Since he hasn’t been, his initiation into the Church is not complete.

I know our parish makes sure that godparents are in good standing with the Church - they have to receive recommendations from the intended godparents’ parishes stating that they are practicing and not in an “irregular” situation. Not having been Confirmed would be an irregular situation. This seems to be the practice in many places.

Being a godparent is not just a named honor. The godparent has responsibilities to the child to ensure that he or she is brought up in the faith.

To the OP: has another godparent been found? I would definitely encourage you to go if it is a valid and licit baptism, so you can offer your prayers for the child. Your brother’s behavior is very strange, and it’s not as if your other brother can never be Confirmed. If he refuses to get Confirmed, for whatever reason, then he’s really not a suitable grandparent at all, and I can’t imagine a parish would recommend him in such a case. :shrug:


There’s a difference in the role of a Catholic and a non-Catholic at a Catholic baptism.

A Catholic is a godparent with responsibilities to help raise the child in the faith. In order to do this, the Catholic must have received the sacraments of initiation.

A non-Catholic may be a Christian witness to the baptism. A non-Catholic doesn’t have the same ongoing responsibility and doesn’t have to meet the same requirements.

Canon law doesn’t give an option for a non-fully-initiated Catholic to have a role at a baptism. In my experience with adult confirmation programs, this requirement often spurs an adult to seek confirmation so that they can serve as a godparent.


But they don’t want him to be Godparent, they want him to be a Christian witness? Surely a non confirmed catholic is the same as a non catholic Christian?


No, it isn’t. A non-confirmed Catholic is a person whose initiation into the Church is incomplete. A non-Catholic Christian is a person who holds to the truth about Christ, but doesn’t have the fullness of the truth about Christ, His Church, and His teachings. The two are not the same…!

By rights, then, since he is a Catholic, he cannot be a Christian witness. Sadly, some pastors will allow this solution, through which people may get the wrong idea about what baptism is all about and what being a Godparent is all about…

closed #7

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