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Sonia Magana wrote:

Hi, guys —

My question is regarding Baptism.

My husband and I have discussed this in great detail and we both believe there is no one around us who would be a good Godparent for our child due to many factors:

  • being unwed
  • not being in full communion with the Church
  • making bad life choices, and
  • not wanting to hurt his parents feelings nor mine.

I spoke about this with my mother and she mentioned the Church once allowed a non-Catholic couple to baptize their children if they were going to allow the child to be brought up in the Catholic faith and be good examples.

We have a family friend who is a different religion. They never speak about religion but they do speak about:

  1. right and wrong
  2. Gods love for us
  3. our duties as followers of Christ, and
  4. have a solid marriage and are the nicest people.
  • Would they be able to baptize our child or is this no longer allowed by the Church?


  { Can non-Catholics baptize others and be godparents if my close family members are poor choices? }

Mike replied:

Hi Sonia,

Thanks for the question.

As my colleague Eric said in another reply:

Except in case of emergency, only a priest or deacon may lawfully baptize into the Catholic Church.

Canon law also requires one Catholic male and one Catholic female to be Godparents.

If you have poor choices for Godparents just pray on the issue with your hubby and pick the best of the worst then find a good non-Catholic Christian who can act, not as a Godfather or Godmother but, as a good Christian witness for the child to follow until, and if, you find a good Catholic role model who can work with your current non-Catholic Christian witness.

One of the promises parents make at the baptismal font is to raise their children Catholic.
This is why the Church requires both Godparents to be Catholic. The role of the Godparents are not to be the parents but rather to assist the parents with spiritual help when called upon and to obviously always pray for their godchild.

  • Sending annual Mass cards
  • Calling on their birthdays, and
  • giving fun stuff, as well as spiritual stuff

is key. You want to build a good friendship with your godchild. Try to enjoy what they enjoy.
What I try to communicate to my niece and nephews is that you can live a Christ-like Catholic life and still have fun.

Chapter IV.


Canon 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.

Canon 873 There is to be only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each.

Canon 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.


Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
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