Was my confirmation invalid b/c of my sponsor?


#1

I was looking something up in "Catholicism for Dummies" tonight out of curiousity (to see if the Catholic Church accepts the baptism of a specific denomination.) I didn't find the answer to my question, but I stumbled across something else that upset me. I was baptized and confirmed at the same time privately 16 years ago, and my MIL was my godparent/sponsor. Now tonight I read that your confirmation sponsor must be validly married. My MIL was/is in an invalid marriage. At this time they are living as brother and sister--I have no idea if this was true at the time I was confirmed. Does this mean that my baptism and confirmation were invalid? Surely not, but it's still upsetting. My husband--a baptized Catholic-- was also present, although your confirmation sponsor must be of the same sex. A female Christian friend was also present, but, again, I know the sponsor must be a Catholic. Is this silly to worry about this?


#2

[quote="Veronica97, post:1, topic:342283"]
. Now tonight I read that your confirmation sponsor must be validly married. My MIL was/is in an invalid marriage.

[/quote]

Well no. That is not accurate. The actual canon law requirements for baptism and confirmation sponsor are as follows;

*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.*

[quote="Veronica97, post:1, topic:342283"]

At this time they are living as brother and sister--I have no idea if this was true at the time I was confirmed.

[/quote]

Nor is it any of your business. You should, in charity, presume your MIL is a Catholic in good standing and under the guidance of her pastor.

[quote="Veronica97, post:1, topic:342283"]
.Does this mean that my baptism and confirmation were invalid?

[/quote]

Why do you think the validity of your baptism or confirmation is dependent on your sponsor?

[quote="Veronica97, post:1, topic:342283"]
.Surely not, but it's still upsetting.

[/quote]

I'm not sure why.

[quote="Veronica97, post:1, topic:342283"]
.My husband--a baptized Catholic-- was also present

[/quote]

But not your sponsor.

[quote="Veronica97, post:1, topic:342283"]
.although your confirmation sponsor must be of the same sex

[/quote]

Not true.

[quote="Veronica97, post:1, topic:342283"]
.A female Christian friend was also present, but, again, I know the sponsor must be a Catholic.

[/quote]

Correct, a non-Catholic is not a baptismal or confirmation sponsor.

[quote="Veronica97, post:1, topic:342283"]
. Is this silly to worry about this?

[/quote]

I am not sure why you would be worried.


#3

Thank you, 1Ke. On page 111 of “Catholicism for Dummies” it says, "For an adult or a child being baptized, these sponsors

–Can’t be the parents of the one being baptized

–Must be at least 16 years old

–Must be practicing Catholics who go to Mass every week, are not invalidly married, and live a good Christian life

–Must already be confirmed"

Then on page 123 it says, “At Baptism, Junior’s mom and dad picked his godfather and godmother; for Confirmation, he picks his own sponsor. The sponsor can be the godmother or godfather if they’re still practicing Catholics, or he may choose someone else (other than his parents) who’s over the age of 16, already confirmed, and in good standing with the Church.”

It just kind of threw me for a loop, I guess, to read this.


#4

[quote="Veronica97, post:3, topic:342283"]
On page 111 of "Catholicism for Dummies" it says, "For an adult or a child being baptized, these sponsors

--Can't be the parents of the one being baptized

--Must be at least 16 years old

--Must be practicing Catholics who go to Mass every week, are not invalidly married, and live a good Christian life

--Must already be confirmed"

[/quote]

Well, I have posted the actual canon law requirements. The C4D book oversimplifies things.

[quote="Veronica97, post:3, topic:342283"]
Then on page 123 it says, "At Baptism, Junior's mom and dad picked his godfather and godmother; for Confirmation, he picks his own sponsor. The sponsor can be the godmother or godfather if they're still practicing Catholics, or he may choose someone else (other than his parents) who's over the age of 16, already confirmed, and in good standing with the Church."

[/quote]

Well, yes, in general this is true.

You were baptized and confirmed at the same time, so your sponsor was the same for both. A sponsor is not, strictly speaking, necessary. Nor does the sponsor impact the validity of the sacrament in any way.


#5

If the sponsor must be leading a good Christian life, I am sure that includes marriage too. but that was not your fault if you were not aware of it. But it won’t affect your Confirmation anyway. But folks should be very careful who we pick for sponsors. After all we are asking that person to be a lifelong spiritual “caregiver” for us. At least with their prayers. I never met my Godfather ,except on the day I was Baptized of course. but 50 years later I did meet a good friend of his and she told me that he was a very holy man and had a great devotion to the Blessed Mother. She assured me I was truly in his prayers and now that he’s in Heaven, even more so. I was soooo grateful to hear that. Some Pastors require a paper signed by the sponsors pastor as to them being a Catholic in “good standing”. I think that should be a requirement everywhere. God Bless. Memaw


#6

Those are the requirements for being a sponsor but a sponsor fulfilling those requirements is not necessary for sacramental validity.


#7

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