The following are from
the Baltimore Catechism... (emphasis added)
Q. Why are
godfathers and godmothers given in Baptism?
A. Godfathers and
godmothers are given in Baptism in order that they may promise, in the name of
the child, what the child itself would promise if it had the use of reason.
Q. What is the
obligation of a godfather and a godmother?
A. The obligation
of a godfather and a godmother is to instruct the child in its religious duties,
if the parents neglect to do so or die.
Q. Can persons
who are not Catholics be sponsors for Catholic children?
A. Persons who
are not Catholics cannot be sponsors for Catholic children, because they cannot
perform the duties of sponsors; for if they do not know and profess the Catholic
religion themselves, how can they teach it to their godchildren? Moreover, they
must answer the questions asked at baptism and declare that they believe in the
Holy Catholic Church and in all it teaches; which would be a falsehood on their
Q. What should
parents chiefly consider in the selection of sponsors for their children?
A. In the
selection of sponsors for their children, parents should chiefly consider the
good character and virtue of the sponsors, selecting model Catholics to whom
they would be willing at the hour of death to entrust the care and training of
And from the Catechism
of Pope St. Pius X... (emphasis added)
Q. What are
the obligations of godfathers and godmothers?
A. Godfathers and
godmothers are bound to see that their spiritual children are instructed in the
truths of faith and live as good Christians [Catholics], and they should edify
them by their good example.
Q. What tie do
sponsors contract in Baptism?
contract a spiritual relationship with the baptized and with the parents of the
baptized, which causes an impediment to marriage with these persons.
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