Is it permissible for a catholic who is in an irregular marriage or an adulturous one to be able to be a Godparent for Baptism, or a sponsor for a new catholic?


Such a catholic is not in full communion with the Church and of course precluded from reception of the Eucharist. However, can such individual still become a sponsor, godparent or even be a groomsman/bridesmaid at a catholic wedding?


I’m not sure what you mean by irregular marriage but from what I understand there only needs to be one sponsor and that sponsor must be catholic. If that sponsor is married they must be married within the church even if the spouse is non Catholic.


The requirements to be a sponsor are:

Can. 874 §1. To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor a person must:

1/ be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function;

2/ have completed the sixteenth year of age, unless the diocesan bishop has established another age, or the pastor or minister has granted an exception for a just cause;

3/ be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on;

4/ not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;

5/ not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized.

A person who is in an irregular marriage doesn’t meet these qualifications.


They have to be a Catholic in good standing, one who is ‘precluded’ from communion is essentially a non-entity until their situation is normalized. We can not participate in the life of the church, except warm a pew.


All I know is 3 different churches would not allow my brother to be a sponsor because he is a Catholic married to a Protestant outside the church.


They must be a practing catholic.


Yes, thank you. I often forget that some things are not obvious to all.


Yes, that makes us nonentities. Even if we have brought the other spouse to Catholicism, they can probably go through rcia and be ‘fully’ Catholic before you can. I am sorry for your brother. He can get his marriage normalized even though the spouse does not want to. I have been waiting over a year. Looks like I will miss out on another Easter. I am content that Christ knows who I am even if the church does not.


The rules that apply to one spouse apply to the other as well. Someone in RCIA would also need to have the marriage issue resolved before being received into the Church. That doesn’t make anyone a nonentity. It simply makes them people with an issue to clear up.



No. In either instance the person cannot be a sponsor (or God Parent).

Keep in mind that the sponsor must be a shinning example of a good Catholic. One who is not in good standings cannot be that shinning example.

In today’s society (partly due to Protestantism and partly due to secularism) we think of God Parents as honorifics. But in reality they are supposed to help parents raise the child in the Faith and set a good example. One cannot do that if they are not a practicing Catholic and/or not in good standing.

God Bless


In regards to groomsmen/bridesmaids - they do not have to be catholic. They are not “official” church roles


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