Moral Responsibilities of a Godparent


#1

Six or seven years ago a friend asked me to be godparent to her then 9 year old daughter. I had my doubts because I wasn't convinced that she had a real motive to raise her daughter as a practicing Catholic, and in fact, just wanted to get her into a good Catholic school. I discussed some of my doubts with her, but perhaps not strongly enough. Anyway, I finally accepted, and became the daughter's godmother.

The problem is that after a few years, my friend decided she didn't really believe in or accept many Catholic teachings and she stopped going to mass and stopped taking her daughter who now never sets foot in a church. My friend also told me, while quite drunk, that she had an abortion years early and in her own words, she 'never regretted it or gave it another moment's thought'. This would mean that at the time when I was being a godmother she was in actual fact in a state of excommunication, although she was regularly receiving Communion at that time.

Her daughter is now a teenager who dresses like a slut (sorry, there is no other way to describe her lack of clothing) and covers herself in garish make-up, and is obsessed with sex, boys, fashion etc. I have no idea what I am supposed to do, except say a prayer for her. I have very little contact with the friend any more, and when I tried to discuss suitable clothing etc with her, she got very angry. But don't I have a responsibility before God to guide her daughter? I am rather worried about the whole situation, and would appreciate any advice.


#2

Well I am originally from latinoamerica and over there a God parent is considered to have a great deal of responsibility over the God child. A God parent there becomes pretty much as a second parent and whenever the parent either is absent, can't deal with something or is dealing with a difficult situation the God parent is expected to step in. Most catholic Godchildren over there tend to see their Godparents as authoritative figures and over there, yes a Godmother would have stepped in immediately. However this is the US and the church is more relaxed here and thing are different here so I don't know in the US. But if I were you I would tell the girl something, especially if you are feeling worried about the girl's future. Anyway, I am interested in seeing other responses to see how it is in the US.


#3

[quote="marymary1975, post:2, topic:326018"]
Well I am originally from latinoamerica and over there a God parent is considered to have a great deal of responsibility over the God child. A God parent there becomes pretty much as a second parent and whenever the parent either is absent, can't deal with something or is dealing with a difficult situation the God parent is expected to step in. Most catholic Godchildren over there tend to see their Godparents as authoritative figures and over there, yes a Godmother would have stepped in immediately. However this is the US and the church is more relaxed here and thing are different here so I don't know in the US. But if I were you I would tell the girl something, especially if you are feeling worried about the girl's future. Anyway, I am interested in seeing other responses to see how it is in the US.

[/quote]

I know what you mean. I was raised in Ireland and my godparents would have had that kind of relationship with me that you describe. Here in London, it doesn't seem to mean anything, and I really feel her mother just wanted her baptised so she could get her into a good Catholic school. But as I hardly ever see the girl, and when I do, she is not open to any kind of conversation. I have said, 'You must listen to me when I speak to you about your behaviour, because I'm your godmother!' but she just says, 'Oh, I don't believe any of that!' It does really worry me, that I promised before God that I would help raise her as a Catholic, and it just isn't happening.


#4

It is very sad this girl doesn't want to listen to you. I think is good that you have been warning her. Unfortunately she doesn't want to listen so there is not much that you can do but I think that by your telling her you are doing good. And she is still quite young people grows and life can force her to change. Pray for her and even if it is annoying to her remind her that you are doing it for her own good. Hopefully with lots of praying she may react someday.


#5

At this point there is not a lot you can really do besides pray and keep the faith. Perhaps the daughter will see her errors. I wish I could say more.


#6

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