Catholic Weddings

Godparents question

I'm a bad mother and I haven't selected Godparents for my baby yet (who is 10 weeks old. heh).

Nobody in my family is a practicing Catholic, they are all lapsed Catholics.  Also, I'm not real chummy with anyone at church and don't feel comfortable asking someone from church or someone from work who I know is Catholic.

I was thinking about my cousin who has been very supportive to me and my husband during our wedding preparations, pregnancy, and after the baby was born.  However, he is Apostolic.

Does anyone know if someone who is Apostolic can be a Godparent to a Catholic?
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Re: Godparents question

  • edited March 2012
    That's tough!  I'm not really familiar with Apostolics, so I'm not necessarily fit to answer your question.  I do know that non-Catholics can be a Godparent, but I am fairly certain at least 1 has to be Catholic.  I'm a God mother to 2 children ,and neither God father is/was Catholic.  I would suggest choosing the best Catholic you can think of (a relative who's not necessarily a faithful Catholic, but still a good person, maybe?), and then also the cousin who you're confident will be a good God parent.

    Good luck!

     

  • A Godparent must be a practicing Catholic in good standing. 
  • I know a lot of God parents who aren't Catholic, or who aren't practicing Catholics.

     

  • Carrie, that is what I figured.  I told my mom that they had to be practicing Catholics in good standing.  Then my mom was citing the Nicene creed, "... One Catholic and Apostolic church ..." So I thought it was at least worth the question.  Thanks for your input :)
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  • The creed uses "catholic" and "apostolic" in the sense of the definition, though.  "Universal" and "... apostolic."

    Haha, sorry.  The only definitions I found quickly were "of or relating to the apostles."

    @Resa: I know a lot of people name godparents without having a baptism, so maybe that's why?  We were asked to be godparents for our Lutheran friends' baby, and when I voiced my concerns, the mother said, "Oh, well, the Lutheran church doesn't really take it in the same way..."  I thought, "Why would you want me to be a godparent, then???"
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  • lalaith50lalaith50
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    edited March 2012
    I'm pretty sure you can have one non-Catholic godparent as long as you have another one who IS Catholic. 

    I would assume "Apostolic" is one of the 10,000+ branches of Protestantism, and they decided to call themselves "Apostolic" to make it look like THEY are the particular branch of Protestantism most closely related to the Apostles, and possibly tying them to the Nicene Creed, which they may or may not even acknowledge as something that unites us as Christians.
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  • CiardasullyCiardasully
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    edited March 2012
    I know when my FI became the Godfather of his nephew, he had to get a letter from his parish stating he was a Catholic in good standing.  His nephew got baptised in the Buffalo, NY area.  I am not sure if this is regional or not.
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  • H and I were sort of amused at a Methodist funeral we attended where the Nicene creed was printed in the program with the word "universal" in parentheses next to "catholic."

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  • A Catholic child must have one Godparent who is a catholic in good standing. The other, if not a Catholic (but Christian), or in an irregular marriage or something, is only a Christian witness. They are technically not Godparents.

  • In Response to Godparents question:
    I'm a bad mother and I haven't selected Godparents for my baby yet (who is 10 weeks old. heh). Nobody in my family is a practicing Catholic, they are all lapsed Catholics.  Also, I'm not real chummy with anyone at church and don't feel comfortable asking someone from church or someone from work who I know is Catholic. I was thinking about my cousin who has been very supportive to me and my husband during our wedding preparations, pregnancy, and after the baby was born.  However, he is Apostolic. Does anyone know if someone who is Apostolic can be a Godparent to a Catholic?
    Posted by catarntina
    hush, you're NOT a bad mother!  Those little ones take 110% of your time and energy every day :)

    IMO, unless your pastor has some objection, I would choose your cousin & her husband.  They have been helpful and supportive and it sounds as though their values may be the most like yours.

    My daughter has 4 godparents.  One Congregationalist, one Jewish (a married couple), and two Catholic.

    She was born just short of 28 weeks and was baptized in NNICU shortly after birth.  The first couple I mentioned had come immediately when they heard of her birth as they had had a son born the year before at about the same gestional age and survived perfectly.  When the priest asked me if they were the godparents, I asked them if they would and they were honored.

    When we had a formal christening a month or so after she got out of the hospital (about 4 months old) the pastor of that church asked if I had any Catholics to be godparents, he said one was needed.  So I asked my younger brother and sister.

    I must admit that until her untimely death a few years ago, her Congregationalist godmother was the best influence in her life and remembered all occasions, First Communion, Confirmation, etc.



  • In Response to Re: Godparents question:
    H and I were sort of amused at a Methodist funeral we attended where the Nicene creed was printed in the program with the word "universal" in parentheses next to "catholic."
    Posted by professorscience
    I was at a christening at a Presbyterian church when the minister made a big deal of explaining that the "catholic" in the Creed was not "Catholic." That was 10 minutes of my life I would like back.

    As to the original issue, as with so much in the Catholic Church, it is going to depend a lot on the parish and the priest. When my nephew was baptized and my husband (who is not Catholic) and I stood as Godparents (or Godparent and witness) no one seemed to care that he is not Catholic -- and, in fact, no one made me document that I was one, let alone a practicing one.
  • I just thought of a story.  I remember in high school I cashiered at a local grocery store and there was a woman who had been the Godmother of a little girl (maybe about 6) and her parents died and she took custody of her.  The little girl was Catholic, the Godmother turned Primary Caregiver was not BUT the Godmother was very serious about the girl going to Mass and attending CCD.  She said that she made a promise to that girls parents she would raise their daughter Catholic if anything happended to them.

    So I can see where a Godparent may not necessarily need to be Catholic.
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  • In Response to Re: Godparents question:
    I just thought of a story.  I remember in high school I cashiered at a local grocery store and there was a woman who had been the Godmother of a little girl (maybe about 6) and her parents died and she took custody of her.  The little girl was Catholic, the Godmother turned Primary Caregiver was not BUT the Godmother was very serious about the girl going to Mass and attending CCD.  She said that she made a promise to that girls parents she would raise their daughter Catholic if anything happended to them. So I can see where a Godparent may not necessarily need to be Catholic.
    Posted by Ciardasully
    A godparent and a legal guardian are not the same thing. That is a heartwarming story, though.

    Cat, I would choose the best male Catholic relative you/your husband can think of and go with the cousin as a Christian witness.
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  • ootmother2ootmother2
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    edited March 2012
    hmm, I believe I am godmother to one  nephew and one neice.

    The niece & her family are no longer Catholic.

    The nephew is in heroin detox somewhere.

    Guess I wasn't the best godmother around, huh?

    oh well, I tried.
  • In Response to Re: Godparents question:
    In Response to Re: Godparents question : A godparent and a legal guardian are not the same thing. That is a heartwarming story, though. Cat, I would choose the best male Catholic relative you/your husband can think of and go with the cousin as a Christian witness.
    Posted by bibliophile2010
    I am aware there is a difference between Godparents and legal guardians. Sometimes people can be both. Too bad I can't go back in time to ask her to clarify because now I want to know now!
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  • Please disregard the second "now" of my last sentence. I hate typing on my phone. I make so many mistakes. D'oh!
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  • edited March 2012
    In Response to Re: Godparents question:
    Folks, it is canon law that a Godparent must be Catholic. It isn't dependant on the church or priest. One can have anyone as a proxy stand in for someone on the particular day, but the actual Godparent must be Catholic ... ,Posted by agapecarrie
    I would still have this conversation with a priest -- not because he is going to violate Canon Law, but because I have experienced priests who required anyone at the font to be Catholic and ones who welcomed a non-Catholic witness as long as there was a Catholic Godparent. While the Canon permits the latter, I'm not sure it requires it.

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