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Happy Sunday, Father Angelo!

I am writing to you because I could not find the answer I am looking for on your site! The question is this: can  someone of Orthodox confession (even if not practicing…) be the Godmother  to a child who is baptized in the Catholic Church? The situation is more or less like everyone else: my son and his girlfriend live together, but they would like to baptize the child in the Catholic church, except that the girl chosen to become his Godmother is the sister of my son’s girlfriend and she is Romanian and  Orthodox… all of them do not practice their faith and are not interested in religion. All very irregular, but the child is not to blame! I ask for your opinion and prayer!

Warm greetings,


Answer from the priest

Dear Rosaria, 

1. The answer was on our site, but perhaps it is difficult to find . It was released on August 25, 2014. But I propose it again for the benefit of other visitors,too.

2. Here is what the code of canon law says at Can. 874 : 

“§ 1. To be admitted to the post of Godfather/Godmother, it is necessary that the person who is chosen: 

1° is designated by the person being baptized or by his parents or whoever takes his place or, failing this, by the pastor or minister and has the aptitude and intention to exercise this office;

2° has reached the age of sixteen, unless another age has been established by the diocesan bishop, or the pastor or minister does not seem appropriate, for just cause, to admit the exception;

is a Catholic, has already received confirmation and the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist, and leads a life in conformity with the faith and the office he assumes; 

4° is not ensnared by any canonical penalty legitimately inflicted or declared; 

5° is not the father or the mother of the one being baptized.

§ 2. A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community is not to be admitted, with the exception of being together with a Catholic Godfather/Godmother and only as a witness to the Baptism”.

3. The code therefore requires that the Godfather /Godmother be Catholic. And it is understandable, because of the task of the Godfather/Godmother that is to support parents within the child’s Christian formation, thus it is necessary to educate him to believe according to the Catholic faith. In fact, only in the Catholic faith there is the fullness of the goods that the Lord has brought us.

4. However, the second paragraph of the same canon says that a non-Catholic Christian can be admitted as a witness to the Baptism. Therefore the presence of an Orthodox girl next to the Catholic Godmother is possible.

5. In fact, canon 873 says: “Only one Godfather or one Godmother, or one Godfather and one Godmother are admitted”.

6. In your case it can be done like this: take a Catholic Godfather and add the Orthodox girl as a witness to the baptism.

7. I am happy that the child is being baptized. He has the right to receive grace, which for him will be like a hedge (cfr. Job 1,10) which, in addition to bringing the personal presence of God in his soul and as well as sanctifying him, protects him from many evils, especially those of preternatural origin. 

I assure you of my prayers for the child and for all of you. I wish you well and I bless you. 

Father Angelo

January 16th 2022 | A priest answers – Dogmatic Theology – Sacraments

Translated by Rossella Silvestri