My episcopalian sister has asked my wife and me


to be godparents for her new baby, who’s being baptized in a couple of months. are we allowed to do this? we are catholic; the baby will be raised episcopalian. thanks.


The main duty of the Godparents is to look after the spiritual education of their Godchildren, especially if the parents are unable to do so. If the baby is to be raised Episcopalian, how are you going to do that as a Catholic?

I wouldn’t be as concerned about what’s “allowed” as much as can you realistically fulfill your duties as Godparent. It would seem not, unless the parents would be willing to allow the child to be educated in the Catholic faith.

I’ve never been to an Episcopalian baptism, but I assume the expectation is that when one takes on “Godparentism”, one is duty-bound to fulfill it.

Do the parents understand the obligations of Godparents?


No you cannot be the child’s Godparents. You may be there and witness the Baptism, but cannot be listed as the Godparents. They will have to find Episcopalian Godparents.


can you direct me to an official church document that says this? i don’t doubt what you’re saying, but i want to be able to cite something when i tell my sister. thanks.






This is derived from many sources, including the documents of Canon Law. The Church is clear about participation in non-Catholic liturgies and their participation in ours.

Canon Law prohibits a non-Catholic from being a godparent to a Catholic child based on the **duties **of a godparent stated there in Canon Law. While it does not state the converse it is clear that this would be the case.

Why do you need documentation? Tell them as a Catholic you cannot be the godparent of a non-Catholic child.


Actually, the Godparents don’t have to be Episcopalian. But Br. Rich is correct on the other point.


Ok, Episcoplains may not require Godparents to be Episcopalian, I truely do not know their rules. But the Catholic Church does not allow a Catholic to be an Episcopalian Godparent.


IIRC, They permit any baptized Christian “in good standing” with their own church to stand as Godparents. It’s very similar to their position on reception of Communion.

Of course, were a Catholic to participate as a Godparent (which is improper as you’ve pointed out), then they’d cease to be “in good standing” with their Church, so it’s something of a catch-22. :thumbsup:


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