Guidelines to assess suitability for the role of a godparent at Baptism or a Sponsor at Confirmation. These guidelines are based on Canons # 872-874 and # 892-893 of The Code of Canon Law.
GODPARENTS FOR BAPTISM
1. A person who is to be baptized is given a godparent to help the baptized lead a good Christian life. However, it is in our tradition to have two godparents, although one may be accepted now. No more than two are permitted, and the two may not be of the same sex.
2. A Godparent must be Catholic, and completed sixteen years of age, unless the bishop, pastor or minister of the Sacrament grants an exception for a lower age for a just cause.
3. A Godparent should already have received the Sacraments of Confirmation
and Holy Eucharist and live a life in harmony with the Catholic faith.
4. A priest or deacon may be a godparent, but is not to be a sponsor and minister of Baptism in the same ceremony. A member of an Institute of Consecrated Life or Society of Apostolic Life may be a sponsor.
5. A Catholic who has formally left the Catholic Church is not permitted to be a godparent.
6. The father and mother are not permitted to also be godparents.
7. A baptized person from another Christian denomination is permitted to be only a witness to Baptism along with the Catholic godparent. A non-Catholic cannot be a godparent.
8. A member of the Eastern Orthodox Church may be admitted as a godparent for Baptism
but only together with Catholic godparents for a just cause, as long as there is provision
for the Catholic education of the person to be baptized. Similarly, a Catholic is not
forbidden to stand as sponsor in an Eastern Orthodox church, if he/she is so invited.
SPONSORS FOR CONFIRMATION
1. It is desirable that the godparent for Baptism also stands as a sponsor for Confirmation.
2. The requirements to be a godparent for Baptism # 2,3,5,6 above are also applied to sponsors for Confirmation.
3. It is for the sponsor to see that the confirmed person acts as a true witness to Christ and faithfully fulfill the obligations connected to the sacrament of Confirmation.