What do I do when my child has four godparents?


Hello, this question is in reference to one recently answered by Michelle Arnold.

My child was baptized four years ago and we chose to have FOUR godparents, two men and two women. We were not informed at the time that this was contrary to canon law. Also, two out of the four were not (and are still not) Catholic. What does this mean for our child? Who are her godparents? I am assuming this does not invalidate her baptism but who may she refer to as her godparents? The two baptized Catholics?


That you were not properly informed that you cannot have four godparents is unfortunate. Even more unfortunate is that two of them are non-Catholics, since non-Catholics ordinarily are not allowed to be godparents at a Catholic baptism. In any event, I presume that all of these people are listed on your daughter’s baptismal certificate as her godparents, so she can refer to all of them as godparents. One of the duties of godparenthood though is to assist the parents in educating the child in the Catholic faith. For this duty, you should turn only to the Catholic godparents for assistance.

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