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'Quick Help' Page: Catholic Godparent For Non-Catholic?

 

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Godparent

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Arrow Question / Issue:

"Can a Catholic be a Godparent for a non-Catholic baptism?"

 

Arrow Answer / Resources:

[click link(s) below, as applicable]

Even if the non-Catholics who performed the baptism would allow it, it would not be appropriate for a Catholic to participate. First, it has always been the teaching of the Church to not participate in religious ceremonies held by those outside the Church. For example, consider these quotes...

"None must either pray or sing psalms with heretics; and whomsoever shall communicate with those who are cut off from the Communion of the Church, whether clergymen or laic, let him be excommunicated." (Council of Carthage, 398 A.D.)

"Can. 2316 Whoever in any manner willingly and knowingly helps in the promulgation of heresy, or who communicates in things divine with heretics against the prescriptions of Canon 1258, is suspected of heresy." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

Also note that St. Augustine says the following regarding Baptism outside the Church...

"Outside the Church baptism can be put in you but it cannot avail you (inesse potuit, non prodesse)." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, 5th century A.D.)

Second, the traditional teaching of the Church is to shun heresy, as per the biblical instructions...

"After a first and second warning, break off contact with a heretic, realizing that such a person is perverted and sinful and stands self-condemned." (St. Paul, Ti. 3:10-11)

Heresy & schism are serious matters that greatly offend God. For example, consider this quote from St. Charles Borromeo...

"It is a certain, well-established fact that no other crime so seriously offends God and provokes His greatest wrath as the vice of heresy. Nothing contributes more to the ruin of provinces and kingdoms than this frightful pest." (St. Charles Borromeo)

For many more quotes on heresy/schism, try here.

Third, by being a Godparent, one takes a responsibility with respect to instructing the child in the correct faith...

"Godfathers and godmothers are bound to see that their spiritual children are instructed in the truths of faith..." (Baltimore Catechism)

...which would seem impossible with those outside the Church.


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