the rules for Confirmation sponsor are the same as those for a baptismal godparent–somebody will cite the source before long, but they have to be adult Catholics over 16, or age set by local bishop, fully initiated (all sacraments), not the child’s parent, practicing the faith and living in conformity to Catholic teaching, including laws on marriage and family, and are chosen to be a mentor and guide to the newly confirmed or baptized and to assist their Catholic vocation. They should consent to serve in this capacity and not be under any canonical prohibition from serving.
It is my duty to make sure the sponsors conform, because the pastor has delegated this responsibility to me. He has to stand in front of the bishop and affirm that the candidates are prepared and properly disposed for the sacrament, and that includes affirming the sponsor are qualified. We don’t take lightly statements made to the bishop on this occasion.
Yes an interview, at least with the candidate, ideally with the parents and sponsors, should be part of the preparatin process. No it is not required by canon law, but without it, very hard to make any determination or to uncover problems that can be easily addressed.
Just as for baptism, no the parents do not have to be practicing, but when they request the sacraments for their minor children, the pastor must have some assurance the child will have support in living out his Catholic faith.
In this diocese, when accepting baptismal or confirmation sponsors, we are not allowed to ask for any “proof” of all this, simply to accept their word. That is particular law of the diocese not my decision. I can’t tell from your description since we only have one side of the interview if the catechist overstepped bounds, but it seems like it to me. This should be an interview among parties concerned with the candidates welfare and disposition for the sacrament, not an inquisition. Why is the catechist doing this, not the pastor or DRE?
I will probably get a wrist slap for asking, but is there some reason we cannot discuss sacraments in the proper forum? If we insist on keeping this discussion on the traditionalist forum, it might be worthwhile to look at how things “used to be done” and recall the entire process was much stricter in the old days, so if your parish is a tradional one (Latin Mass and so forth) they might be correspondingly stricter in the entire area of sacramental prep.