Should I be marriage sponsor?

I listen to podcasts and really love the way you answer questions. I appreciate that!!

I am a mom of 3 children. I was baptized and married Lutheran but 3 years ago joined the Catholic church. A few months before joining the church I had my 3rd child via c-section. During the surgery I had a tubal ligation (per my request). I was not Catholic when this happened but I was aware it was not “approved” by the church. However it wasn’t until afterwards during my RCIA classes I found out exactly what the church feels on contraception. Yes I do believe that I chose not to look further in to it at the time - making it easier to say I didn’t know.

Since then I have had a large change in my faith. I have become very involved in the church. I have found ways to share my time, talent and treasures. I have also confessed my sin (during a retreat and not to my current priest). Recently my husband and I were asked to be a marriage sponsor. My priest asked us because he felt we were a good example of young Catholic parents and he believed we would be good for this role.

He gave us the paperwork to complete and you must state that you have practiced what the Church teaches on contraception and sterilization. And you must be willing to discuss with the couple Natural Family planning and answer questions on contraception.

I understand my actions were selfish. It won’t do me any good to say - I wish I hadn’t - but I am extremely upset about my choices. However - should my husband and I be allowed to be a sponsor couple? We obviously wouldn’t be able to say we practiced what the church teachs but we are able to say we would be honest and open with the couple and explain our situation and what the church teaches.

Any advice on the matter?

Yes, you can be a marriage sponsor. I am not entirely sure what that role is but your past actions do not reflect how you live your faith today. I can’t imagine we’d have anybody for any role in the Church if someone’s past disqualified them today. Many Catholics have drifted away from the Church and came back or converted into the Church and are exemplary Catholics today. As the old saying goes: “The Church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.”

The only thing that would seem to stand in the way is if you would be uncomfortable discussing your past with others. From my point of view you and your husband would be an excellent choice to discuss those matters with other couples. You could both explain how you used to think and why you came to change your mind and accept the Church’s teachings.

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