need some advice on baptism


#1

Hello. I started my membership here because I really need some advice. I personally am not catholic but my older sister is. Here is the problem that has been bugging me. My sister just had her fifth child six months ago. I am the godparent of her first three children, even though I am not catholic I did stand before my God and make promises which I will try to keep, but I kind of feel like I didn’t know everything that was expected, like, being a good role model in the church and taking time to teach them about Christ. My sister now expects me to be godparent to her youngest three kids but I feel like I already made a mistake in accepting it with the first three and don’t want to do it again. Shouldn’t it be someone who understands the responsibilities of being a catholic godparent and not your sister because she’s your sister? How can I tell my sister that she should find someone else, someone who is also catholic, to be godparent? I don’t want to hurt her feelings but I know that she will be hurt and very angry and I don’t want this to blow up into something bigger than what it should be. Ok, one more question, if I am a godparent of kids and didn’t really live up to the promises I made because I really didn’t understand going into it what I needed to do, will Jesus understand?
Thank you for your time,
Vanessa22


#2

Actually, you are not the Godparent for any of her children. Only a Catholic can be a Godparent. You might have been a Christian witness to the baptism. That is all that Catholic Canon Law allows.

I am sorry that your sister has put you in a position such as this. I do not know why she would expect you, a non-Catholic, to teach them about the Catholic faith. (Of course, I hope you are good role model, as that is the right thing to be whether you are Catholic or not).

Tell her you have now learned that a non-Catholic cannot be a Godparent, and she needs to choose a Catholic. Here is the relevant Canon Law:

Can. 872 Insofar as possible, a person to be baptized is to be given a sponsor who assists an adult in Christian initiation or together with the parents presents an infant for baptism. A sponsor also helps the baptized person to lead a Christian life in keeping with baptism and to fulfill faithfully the obligations inherent in it.

Can. 873 There is to be only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each.

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.

§2. A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community is not to participate except together with a Catholic sponsor and then only as a witness of the baptism.

Yes, absolutely.

Tell her you’ve been informed of the fact that you cannot be the Godparent and she should go talk to her priest about selecting Catholic godparents.

That’s HER problem. You can’t do anything about whether she acts like a baby-- but just repeat that you now know you cannot be the godparent and shouldn’t have been selected as the godparent of the others . Now that you know, you cannot in good consicence accept her offer.

Of course he will. You shouldn’t have been put in the position in the first place. Sounds like your sister is ignorant of the responsibilities of a godparent, and her priest didn’t do a good job in the baptismal preparations.


#3

oh, thank you! this whole time i have been so nervous about this whole thing but you have really helped me with your advice. i feel so much better and i hope that you continue to help those who need help. :slight_smile:


#4

hugs For you. I am sorry your sister put you in such a position. Be a good Christian role model for your neices and nephews. As their Aunt, it is important that you do not make disparaging comments about the Church. If you don’t live close, or even if you do, make it a priority to attend Mass with your sister and her family to show your support for their Faith.
Good luck and God Bless!


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