The reason is because the pastor of the place where you used to live is not your current pastor. I know that sounds a bit obvious, but the fact that he can certify that you were a practicing Catholic until a year ago (since that’s the limit of his information) isn’t saying that you are a practicing Catholic now. He might be able to say you were an outstanding, very faithful Catholic, but that applies to the past, not the present. That’s the difference.
And yes, the church lady did say “registered”. I get they want people to be registered. I don’t wish to register anywhere until I find a parish I like. I happen to live within the boundaries of this parish where the baptism will take place, but I will not register there. The only reason I have gone there at all and not done too much church shopping was lack of gas money to go to other parishes. I can guarantee that talking to any priest for 5 minutes would assure anyone I am a member of the Church in good standing. I have received all my sacraments, I am not living in sin, I have never, I would never, I know church doctrine well, I know all the duties of a godmother and I take them seriously.
If the place of the future baptism is also the parish where you reside, then the pastor is one and the same. He is the one who needs to know that you’re Catholic, and he also is the one who determines if you’re qualified to be a Godparent.
I don’t understand why a statement from a priest who knows me well won’t suffice, but I need a letter from a priest who wouldn’t know me AT ALL?
That’s what I’m trying to explain here: it’s not a matter of a statement from a priest who knows you, it’s a matter of getting this information from your own pastor–and that’s the pastor of the place where you live. Whether you “register” there or not makes no difference–you are a parishioner there because you live within the parish territory. The whole idea here is that your own pastor is supposed to be precisely that priest who does know you.
Catholics might not “like” their own parish (and let’s face it, that happens a lot), but that doesn’t change the fact that they are still members of that parish. Parish membership is based on where you live, it’s not based on where you happen to go to Mass. (unless we’re talking about a “personal parish” like an ethnic parish but that doesn’t seem to apply here, and would only get us way off topic).
From a pastor’s point of view: someone who is a parishioner of that parish, but does not attend Mass there is often (but not always) an unlikely candidate to be a Godparent, and that often causes the pastor to hesitate on allowing that person to be a Godparent without looking further into the matter. I’m not saying that about you, I’m only making a general statement about how pastors look at this type of situation.
At first, I thought that the place of baptism, and your own parish were two different parishes. Knowing now that they are the same, the whole topic of a sponsor certificate doesn’t matter anymore–because the priest issuing it and the priest receiving it are the same priest (it’s pointless).
What you really need to do here is have a visit with your pastor and explain your situation to him. You don’t need a sponsor certificate. That’s the bottom-line. Everything else is just secondary. I don’t want to confuse you or take us off topic by discussing the issue of parish territory–that’s only meant by way of explanation. Since your pastor and the pastor doing the baptism are the same man, you need to talk to him about this, because deciding whether or not you’re a practicing Catholic (and I don’t doubt you here), is his determination to make.