Baptism is a Sacrament of Initiation into the Catholic Church. Instruction in the faith should continue after the sacrament is administered.

In the early Church, new Christians were sponsored by people who were already Christian. These men and women would profess their faith and accept the responsibility of teaching it to the newly baptized. This serves as a model for godparents today.

Today, godparents make promises to fulfill certain duties and responsibilities by word and example throughout the Christian life of their godchildren.

Being a godparent is an important religious obligation, not just an honorary title. Because of the special role that they will play in the life of the baptized, parents have an obligation to select godparents who will help their children grow in their faith and who meet the requirements that have been set by the Church. 

The strange wisdom of choosing godparents:

Choose godparents based on what is best for the child:

For the grace of Baptism to unfold, the parents’ help is important. So too is the role of the godfather and godmother, who must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized – child or adult on the road of Christian life. Their task is a truly ecclesial function (officium). The whole ecclesial community bears some responsibility for the development and safeguarding of the grace given at Baptism.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1255

Able and ready to help the newly baptized:

Assisting the parents in their duties as Christian parents:

It is the role of Baptism to illumine those being baptized with the light of Christ, to open their eyes to Christ’s splendor and to introduce them to the mystery of God through the divine light of faith. The children who are about to be baptized must walk in this light throughout their lives, helped by the words and example of their parents and their godparents. The latter must strive to nourish with their words and the witness of their lives the torch of the children’s faith so that they may be shining example in this world of ours, all too often groping in the darkness of doubt, and bring it the light of the Gospel which is life and hope. Only in this way, will they be able, as adults, to recite with full awareness the formula at the end of the profession of faith present in the rite: “This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus Our Lord”.

Pope Benedict XVI, Homily, January 10, 2010

Godparents must be confirmed Catholics in good standing:

To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God whom I serve with a clear conscience, as did my fathers, when I remember you constantly in my prayers. As I remember your tears, I long night and day to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lo′is and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you.

2 Timothy 1: 2-5

Requirements and responsibilities of godparents:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

God is the difference:

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