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Michael Eisler wrote:

Hi, guys —

I'm 23, and a not-so-devout Christian. To be honest, I border on being an atheist. Regardless,
I have never been anti-religious.

Anyway, I was asked by my brother and his wife to be Godfather to their first child, for which I am greatly honored however my sister-in-law is a devout Catholic and my understanding is that I will be asked some questions at both

  • the Christening and
  • at a service beforehand.

I understand that I may be asked to help guide her in her faith despite my faith. I have no problem helping her if that is what her parent's want, so my questions are:

  • What will I be asked?
  • Are there issues I should read up on to be prepared?

Thanks!

Mike

  { Will there be any problem with an atheistic Christian being a Godfather for a Catholic Baptism? }

Mike replied:

Dear Mike,

Despite your current struggles with the faith, I admire your attitude in wanting to help in the baptism of your brother’s child. The Church has certain requirements for selecting Godparents. This posting should help:

Godparents have to be faithful, practicing Catholic Christians because the purpose of a Baptismal sponsor or Godparent is to support and help the parents of the child in raising their child Catholic.

Godparents don't replace the promise made by the Catholic parent but they are present to assist, encourage, pray, and spiritually help the child when needed and asked by the parents.

If you believe you are more of an atheist and you are not a Catholic, it would not be practical nor allowed for you to take on this important role, as it would spiritually hurt, not help, the child from our view.

I would encourage your brother to think of another faithful Catholic witness. If he doesn't have one, I’m sure the priest bringing his child into the Church can provide one from the parish.

To your specific questions, you said:

  • What will I be asked?

From this posting:

[Asked of the godparents]:

  • Are you ready to help the parents of this child in their duty as Christian parents?

[Reply]:

  • We are.

You said:

  • Are there issues I should read up on to be prepared?

Yes! Know what the Catholic faith believes by reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church and practicing it.

I hope this helps,

Mike

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