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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1. How many Godparents can there be during the Sacrament of Baptism?

A. 1. According to the Instructions of the Catholic Church, "One Sponsor, male or female, is sufficient; but there may be two, one of each sex." [Canon Law # 873] No one can have more than two Godparents, nor can anyone have two Godparents of the same sex.

Q. 2. Can the person to be baptized have two Godparents and two Sponsors?

A. 2. No! There can only be two witnesses to the Sacrament of Baptism. There has to be at least one Godparent (a Catholic); the second can be a witness (non-Catholic), and these must consist of a male and a female.

Q. 3. Can there be just two witnesses?

A. 3. No! There has to be at least one Catholic (Godparent/Sponsor) in good standing, meaning that person is practising his/her faith in the Catholic Church. You cannot have a baptism without a Godparent/Sponsor.

Q. 4. If a person is involved in a same sex marriage, can he/she be a Godparent?

A. 4. Church Canon Law states, "In so far as possible, a person being baptised is to be assigned a Sponsor. In the case of an adult baptism, the Sponsor's role is to assist the person in christian initiation. In the case of an infant baptism, the role is together with the parents to present the child for baptism, and to help it to live a christian life befitting the baptised and faithfully to fulfil the duties inherent in baptism." [Canon Law # 872]

The requirement of the Godparent/Sponsor is to assist in christian initiation an adult who is to be baptised or, in the case of an infant, to help live a christian life befitting the baptised. Because, to the baptized, the Sponsor/Godparent is to be a Christian model role who abides by the teachings of the Catholic Church, someone involved in a same sex relationship would not be acceptable.

Equally, someone who is living common-law, and/or someone who favours abortions, and/or someone who has not stepped inside a Catholic Church for years, therefore not practicing his/her faith, and/or a person living in a continuous state of mortal sin due to immorality, is not a suitable candidate for Godparent or Sponsor of a person to be baptised in the Catholic Church.

Q. 5. Does the Catholic Church make exceptions to this rule?

A. 5. No! Bishops and priests do not have the authority to change the application of the Catholic Church Canon Laws. They are bounds by the Canon Laws.

Q. 6. Can there be 4 Godparents in the case of twins?

A. 6. Yes and No! There can be 4 godparents in the sense that there are two Godparents for each twin, this totalling four. But each twin can only have 2 Godparents of their own. It must be made clear which Godparent is for which twin. Why? Because the Godparents have to sign as witnesses to the Sacrament of Baptism.

It should be noted that in the case of twins, they can both share the same 2 Godparents, one male and one female.

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