(Closed) NWR: Catholic baptisms & godparents

posted 8 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

@ms.pascua: Hello!

You cannot have two godparents of the same gender.  According to Canon Law:

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

Also from that same canon you can see that having only one godparent is perfectly acceptable.  For infants you usually see two people (often with one being a Christian witness) and with older individuals you usually only see one.  With infants, I typically see one person from either side of the family or a couple that the mother and father both know. 

I have seen cases where a pastor finds a person a sponsor.  It’s not really that big of a deal, but I’ve not been involved in a case like that with an infant to know how it “goes” later in life.  I suspect that has a lot to do with the people involved more than the arrangement.

I hope that helps some.  Good luck!

Post # 4
6015 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2012

The catholic church that baptised my neice allowed two godmothers, Myself and an aunt from her mothers side of the family.  I would talk about your options with your priest.  I do commend your quest to find someone that will be in the child’s life on a regular basis, it does make a difference in their spiritual growth!

Post # 5
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

@HisIrishPrincess: Did your brother have a dispensation froma bishop?  Otherwise, I can’t see how that’s allowed (see the canon cited above).

Michelle Arnold (very famous apologist who works in the Diocese of San Diego) agrees with that assessment: 



That said, nothing stops you from having one godmother and one “honorary” godmother.  I doubt anyone would ask for proof of who’s name is on the registry.  Id this is what you mean by two godmothers, then I apologize. 

Post # 6
14183 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

My nephew has two godparents–but they are both his uncles. One from his mom’s side and one from his dad’s side. I guess they felt like they were the better fit !

Post # 7
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I can’t speak as a parent, but my Godparents are my dads cousins (brother and sister). 1 practices and 1 doesn’t. I’ve never asked them a spiritual question and only saw them on holidays.  If I had a spiritual question I asked my parents first, my Catholic School teacher 2nd, and our Priest if needed. The thought of “I should ask my Godparents” never even entered my mind. I feel like the relationship of a sponsor and Catechumen is different as adults like to sit and discuss. When you make the adult decision to become Catholic, you walk the path and grow very close to the sponsor. A child won’t even know the Godparent exists for a few years… So that bond of faith is a promise that’s there, but it hasn’t been an emotional journey.  Children will flit up to you out of the blue, ask the deepest most profound question, and want the answer in 30 seconds and then just flit off again… lol. For me, I think when it’s time the Godparents will be close friends who I know are good examples. Luckily we have a lot of great Catholic examples to choose from, but if you are struggling, I would find a Catholic who lives a good life… maybe not the most spiritual one, but is a good example to your child.

I had no idea you were pregnant so CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! 


Post # 8
937 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I had no idea you were pregnant, either! Congratulations! When are you due?

I echo KLP’s sentiments. My Godparents are not part of my life, and as a child, they were not actively engaged in my spiritual upbringing- my parents were. My parents did try to choose Catholics they were close to, who they believed would be there for me- one was my Aunt (my Mom’s brother’s wife) and the other was my Dad’s best friend. Unfortunately, things change, people change, and they just weren’t good Godparents. Fortunately, whenever I had a question about anything relating to religion, I went straight to my parents. As far as choosing Godparents goes, I think you should do the best you can to find the right people. If you can’t find a female you feel can handle the responsibility, I would consult your priest and discuss it with him. I would think that they wouldn’t just want you to “just pick someone” to fill the quota, but then again, stranger things have happened.

Take comfort in the fact that, regardless of who you choose for Godparents, even if these people fall short of their responsilities, YOU and your HUSBAND are the more likely people your child is going to look to for spiritual guidance.

Congrats again! Blessings to you and your little one.  

Post # 9
1025 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010


Agreeing with PPs, my godparents have not been a part of my life. They were co-workers of my dad, whom he met a month before I was born. Their working relationship didn’t progress well, and they barely talk now. I saw my godmother once 5 years ago and she said “oh hi! It’s our former goddaughter!” So now I consider myself an orphaned godchild. (Granted, she did throw me a wedding shower which was very sweet of her and it was nice to see her then. Nevertheless, we don’t really have a relationship)

As a kid, I was always a little bummed out that my sisters got extra Christmas presents from their godparents and I didn’t! Now, as an adult, it would be nice to have a godparent that I could trust. But I realize, there is no way that my parents could have known who would still be in our lives/who I would grow close to 20 some years later. 

So I guess that’s not really advice, except for…if you just pick someone to pick someone it may end up hurting your child later down the road. 

Post # 12
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

@ms.pascua:  Its totally normal to just pick someone.  In fact, my Godparents are either not Catholic anymore or are lapsed Catholics.  My Godmother had actually joined a cult around the time I was getting confirmed.  I barely even know my Godfather.  I do have a Godfather figure who is very anti-Catholic.  He considers himself my Godfather even though he wasn’t allowed to take that role officially.  So what I ended up with was a guy who challenged me with questions and forced me to seek answers to try to answer him.

Ideally it’d be great to have the perfect Godparents who will actually take up that roll.  My husband and I choose my sister and my brother-in-law and we know they’ll make wonderful Godparents.  However, unless we give all the kids the exact same Godparents, i have no idea who else we could pick.

Post # 13
875 posts
Busy bee

I’m a Godmother, but was raised in a church that did not have Godparent/sponsors…  I think the role as spiritual advisor develops as it is needed.  It is very obvious that your faith is very important to you.  Since you have one Catholic Godparent… Is there a friend whose faith in Christ you trust even if they go to a different church?  I have a core group of faithful Christian friends… Catholic and non-Catholic alike…  My Godchild definitely needed someone to talk to about faith outside of her parents….  My advice would be to pick someone whose faith you trust and who you know will love your child throughout their life!

Post # 15
77 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I read your post and the first reply. I didn’t know that it could only be one person for each gender! I was just at a baptism in the Catholic Church and one young girl had two different women as her godparents. I think these two women were friends of the mother and it was allowed. I really don’t think the church is that strict about it if you explain to them the situation. More often than not, the godparent role is just filled to be filled. It is very good of you to be more aware of who you choose but if the godparents fail to do what you want them to do then you will have to pick up where they left off. Ultimately I think children learn most from their parents and their habits. No matter which godparents you choose, your children will still learn the basic religious habits/beliefs/morals from you.

Post # 16
133 posts
Blushing bee

I just pulled the canon mentioned and it’s right http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P2Y.HTM  Can.  873 There is to be only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each.

Things don’t “depend” when it comes to Canon Law and you can’t use “common sense”.  These are the highest laws of the Catholic Church that every Catholic everywhere in the world must follow.  Not even the pope can disobey a canon.  If he does, there are 200 canons about how to punish him.  When people talk about excommunication or priests being laicized, that comes from canon law. 

Post # 17
77 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@CatholicBee: I just wanted to say, I’m not the one who disobeyed. You kind of have the tone that I’m the one who okayed having the both women (non-couple) godparents. I was acknowledging what you wrote about the canon was true and then saying how I was surprised that it was allowed. The reality is that churches all the across the U.S. pick and choose which rules they take completely serious or not. I went to a church in California one time where they didn’t even kneel. That appalled me though because they are becoming so new age when that is not what the church is about. No matter what the canon says, if priests/authorities of the church don’t follow it then it really becomes just words because the people of the church don’t exactly study the canon in order to follow every rule exactly by the book.

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