A baptized non-Catholic may be permitted to serve at a Catholic baptism, but only in company with another, Catholic sponsor, and simply as a witness. In other words, canon law permits the parents of an infant to choose a Catholic and a non-Catholic Christian as "godparents," and exteriorly they may both appear to assume these roles at the actual … Myself ( Catholic) and my ex partner ( non Catholic) have an almost 6 year old son. If there are two sponsors, one must be Catholic. A. In my best friend’s sect of Christianity, godparents must be married, which is one of the reasons she didn’t choose me. Only Catholics who have been Confirmed and are in good standing can be the godparent according to Canon Law. A godparent must normally be an appropriate person, at least sixteen years of age, a confirmed Catholic who has received the Eucharist, not under any canonical penalty, and may not be the parent of the child. Godparents can not be the father, the mother, or the spouse, of the person who is to be baptized. 3. A Christian of another denomination, whether Orthodox or Protestant, however, may be a "Christian witness" to the baptism along with the Catholic godparent. If neither of the godparents is Catholic, this isn’t possible. Godparents . They tell me that the parents do not regularly attend mass and fully participate in the sacraments but wish to have their children Baptized into the Catholic Church. I told them that the function of godparents, in my understanding, is to assist the parents in bringing up the child in the Faith. Relevance. A Christian Witness can be any baptized person of any Christian faith. maryc. Members of the Eastern Churches are distinguished from members of ecclesial communities. Generally, the person has to have been baptized and has to be in good moral standing with a church. If the person in question is living a life in keeping with the Church’s expectations for someone in that situation, yes. The validly baptized non-Catholic would be … Can a non-catholic be a godparent to a catholic child? Fr. One may be a Christian from another denomination Family members or friends Adults who are not Christian are not appropriate choices for godparents because A non-Christian is certainly not suitable. A baptized non-Catholic may not be a godparent but can serve as a witness along with a Catholic godparent. A Catholic cannot serve as a godparent for someone who has no intention of growing in the Catholic faith. Canon law does not forbid it. The purpose of a godparent … Christian Witness The Code of Canon Law requires that children to be baptized have at least one, but no more than two, godparent(s) or one godparent and one Christian Witness (a non-Catholic baptized Christian). However they can still play the role of a helpful guide and are known as ‘Christian Witnesses’. Can a non-catholic be a godparent to a catholic child? The non-Catholic must be baptized and must be present with a Catholic godparent at the time of baptism (Pastoral companion for Canon Law 57). A baptized non-Catholic may be permitted to serve at a Catholic baptism, but only in company with another, Catholic sponsor, and simply as a witness. It is the Catholic understanding that godparents, in a liturgical and canonical sense, should themselves be members of the Church or ecclesial community in which the baptism is being celebrated. Below is an extract from Canon/Church Law about who can be a sponsor/godparent at Baptism. Yes, what follows is a list of personal characteristics that disqualify a person as a Godparent: a. the person has no intention of fulfilling his obligations as a Godparent. “A baptized Catholic above the age of 16 years old … and the Catholic who is baptized must also have completed the Sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and Confirmation,” said Madrid. It is the Catholic understanding that godparents, in a liturgical and canonical sense, should themselves be members of the Church … It can be presumed that a priest, religious or consecrated soul fulfills these essential conditions to be a sponsor and therefore may freely accept such an invitation. All rights reserved. Only a practicing Catholic who meets the qualifications of a confirmed Catholic, age 16 or older, and has received the Sacrament of the Eucharist, may be a godparent or sponsor for baptism. They realize the importance of godparents and have asked me about the situation since I am Catholic. A godparent must be a Catholic who is active in their own church--thus in good standing with the Church. My son’s school has now approached me and are requiring a baptismal certificate for my son shortly so he can start to learn the sacraments. No. © Copyright 2021 Catholic Exchange. The non-Catholic who is selected as a witness should be an active and participating member of … 874.2). “a baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community may be admitted only in company with a Catholic sponsor, and then simply as a witness to the baptism” (Canon 874) Who Should Not Be A Godparent. Members of the Eastern Churches are distinguished from members of ecclesial communities. Canon 874.1 follows from the Church’s theological understanding of godparents as a matter of course. How Families Can Prepare for Spiritual Warfare | Kathleen Beckman, How Can Beauty & Culture Save the World? A non-Christian is certainly not suitable. They can foster the Catholic faith in the child, or at best perhaps encourage them in what is common to our faiths, but they cannot foster them in a non-Catholic faith. 2. The potential Godparent must also be a regular participant in the life of their church. A non-practicing nominal Catholic would probably just shirk his/her responsibility as a godparent, and not contribute to the growth of the child in the Holy Catholic faith. From exactly the same page; Roman Catholic Church The Catholic institution of godparenthood survived the Reformation largely unchanged. The non-Catholic who is selected as a witness should be an active and participating member of his/her church community. The non-Catholic must be baptized and must be present with a Catholic godparent at the time of baptism (Pastoral companion for Canon Law 57). Technically, only Catholics can be godparents or sponsors. Can Catholics be godparents to children of another Christian demonination? Catholic Exchange is a project of Sophia Institute Press. Baptism, … As a non-catholic christian, I believe that the only pre-requisite of a God-Parent is that they are not atheist. Naturally it would be better if they were of the same denomination as the parents but I don't think it is important. A non-Catholic may serve as a witness to the baptism, but is not officially the godparent, a role that is reserved to Catholics alone. The non-Catholic who is selected as a witness should be an active and participating member of his/her church community. Someone who belongs to another Christian church cannot become a godparent but can be a 'witness' in conjunction with a Catholic sponsor. Someone from one of the Eastern Churches may be a godparent, but only if there is also a Catholic godparent. Godparents may not be under the age of 16. A Catholic may do the same for a person being baptized in another ecclesial community. But before we jump to conclusions and assume that the family’s pastor somehow erred in permitting a non-Catholic to stand as godfather to a Catholic infant, it is necessary to take a look at canon 874.2, which conveniently addresses this very question. Our parish both need to be catholic … Likewise, one non-Catholic may act as a “witness” at a Catholic Baptism, but only if a Catholic is also acting as godparent for the baptized. Is there any leeway on the part of the parish priest in this issue or does he have the responsibility and authority to deny godparents as he sees fit for the good of the child in regards to Catholic Faith? 2. Non-baptized persons may not serve in the role of sponsors or witnesses. You can be a "christian witness" to a protestant child with a catholic godparent. Other non-Christian faiths have their own godparent-like traditions, and many families in these faiths are being similarly influenced by broader cultural trends. The 1993 Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism (Directory on Ecumenism) explains: Only Catholics who have been Confirmed and are in good standing can be the godparent according to Canon Law. A non-practicing Catholic does not qualify as a godparent; however, such a choice, as poor as it would be, is still better than a practicing Protestant in this particular role. Any Catholic of good standing can be a godparent though there are the following exceptions/requirements: 1. Yes, non-Catholic witnesses can serve as a Christian witness but it is not preferred. Father Michael Van Sloun is pastor of St. Stephen in Anoka. [Canon Law # 874.2] Q. Perhaps! However they can still play the role of a helpful guide and are known as ‘Christian Witnesses’. At this time, one or more Godparents can be appointed, providing that the original Godparents are no longer part of the child's life. "§2. 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