It is necessary to have one godparent who is a Catholic. Another person, a Christian, may witness the baptism along with the Catholic godparent.

The principle that the Church wishes to stress when a request for infant baptism is made is that the parents, supported by the godparents, will ensure that the child be raised and instructed in the Catholic faith. If neither of the godparents is Catholic, this isn’t possible.

Below is an extract from Canon/Church Law about who can be a sponsor/godparent at Baptism.

SPONSORS

Can.872 Insofar as possible, a person to be baptised is to be given a sponsor who assists an adult in Christian initiation or together with the parents presents an infant for baptism. A sponsor also helps the baptised person to lead a Christian life in keeping with baptism and to fulfil faithfully the obligations inherent in it.

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

Can.874 §1. To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor a person must:

  • be designated by the one to be baptised, by the parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function;
  • have completed the sixteenth year of age, unless the diocesan bishop has established another age, or the pastor or minister has granted an exception for a just cause;
  • be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on;
  • not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;
  • not be the father or mother of the one to be baptised.

§2. A baptised person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community is not to participate except together with a Catholic sponsor and then only as a witness of the baptism.

Acknowledgements
Baptism photo on Lightstock

Reviewed
14 October 2019

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