Sorry this is so long and rambling.
My husband’s brother is a cradle Catholic who received the sacraments of Baptism, Holy Eucharist, Reconciliation, Confirmation and Matrimony. His marriage ended in civil divorce after two children were born. He did not seek a Declaration of Nullity regarding his marriage. He is a fallen away Catholic who has not practiced his faith in many years. He appears to be completely uninterested in returning to the faith, supports social issues that are contrary to the Faith and appears to now be anti-Catholic.
Since his civil divorce, he has attempted a new marriage, which is invalid in the eyes of the Catholic Church since he does not have a Declaration of Nullity, nor did he seek or receive the proper dispensations to marry a Methodist in a Methodist Church, which are the particulars of the new marriage. (Though I am aware that the proper term isn’t “new marriage” since it really isn’t a marriage at all in the eyes of the Church because he is still married to another, I’ll use it for the sake of clarity because I don’t know how else to refer to it. I’ll use the term “new wife” in the same way.) Anyway, he and his new wife are expecting a baby girl soon. Neither of them practices any faith, but two of my husband’s sisters mentioned being Godmothers, and one suggested she needed to use some strong hints so that the couple would choose her to serve as Godmother to the child. That brings me to several thoughts, a couple of possible scenarios, and questions, since the mention prompts the idea that Baptism or Christening has possibly been discussed by the couple with these two sisters.
Considering that the baby’s father is in an invalid marriage, has been nonpracticing for years, and is somewhat hostile to the Church, it would be surprising if the couple will attempt to have the baby baptized as a Catholic. Even if they do attempt that, I would think that the Baptism would be deferred unless/until the baby’s dad returns to practicing his faith and that there is a well-founded hope that the baby will be raised Catholic, since that is canon law regarding Baptism. That would involve several steps for the child’s parents, including her father seeking and receiving a Declaration of Nullity and then having the new marriage convalidated in the Church (if the first marriage is found to be null), and then her dad would have to begin practicing and living the Faith again so he could teach the child the Catholic Faith.
So, if the child is not baptized a Catholic and is instead christened a Methodist, I do not see how the sisters can serve as a Godparent since they too are cradle Catholics, (though one has not been a practicing Catholic most of her adult life and the other is a progressive Catholic who strongly differs with several teachings of the Church). As such, maybe each could serve and possibly would serve as a Godmother in the Methodist Church after all, since I don’t know what Methodists believe or how they view the role of a Godparent.
But, I do not see how my husband if asked could serve as a Godfather, since I cannot see how a faithful Catholic could serve as a Godparent to a Methodist child. I know some people view the role of Godparent as a purely social or honorary title, but Holy Mother Church views it differently, so it means something else to my husband and me. We know that a Godparent is a person who positively influences Catholic Faith life, who is a good example and witness to the Faith, and who would guide and teach the child the Faith in the event that his parents could not or do not. So, if hubby were asked to take on this role for the child, he would have to decline the role if she is christened instead of being baptized.
If, in fact, the baby girl is christened in the Methodist church, is it sinful and scandalous if we go witness the christening, considering we know her father is a cradle Catholic who should be raising his children as Catholics, though he has left the Church and is choosing this life instead? If they christen her, she is a Christian and at least there is some hope that she is put on a path toward God, even if it isn’t through the Catholic Church, or at least not yet. We still hope her dad returns Home, but in the interim, would it be wrong to be involved in a christening as witnesses and celebrate her becoming a Christian and taking a step toward God?