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  • Writer's pictureHOLY FAMILY PARISH

To be admitted as a sponsor or padrino of Baptism, proxy (prescriptions)

The Church often uses the terms “sponsors” and “godparents” interchangeably. For example, sponsors at a baptism, either for an adult or infant, are known as godparents. While the term “godparent” (or godfather or godmother) at an infant baptism is familiar, some of us don’t realize that the person assisting at an adult baptism is also called a godparent. By whatever name, being a sponsor assumes a special responsibility in the Catholic faith and thus selection is carefully contemplated.

1. Whenever possible a sponsor is to be employed in the celebration of the sacrament. Only one male or one female sponsor, or one of each sex is to be employed. It is not allowed for two males or two females to be sponsors at baptism.

2. To be admitted as a sponsor the following prescriptions must be met:

2.1. Be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the one who takes their place or, in their absence, by the pastor or minister and have the qualifications and intention of performing this role.

2.2. Be at least 16 years of age.

2.3. Be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist and leads a life in harmony with the faith and the role to be undertaken.

2.4. Not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared. Penalties in the must be imposed or declared by a judicial process (e.g. excommunications, suspensions, interdicts). These are legitimately imposed penalties by a Tribunal of the Church. No priest or deacon may impose their own penalties.

2.5. Not be the father or the mother of the one to be baptized.

2.6. At the request of the parents, a baptized Christian not in full communion with the Catholic church may act as Christian witness together with a Catholic sponsor.

2.7. A baptismal sponsor may act through a proxy. In order for a proxy to act validly, he or

she must have been appointed by the sponsor, not the parents or minister. Proof of appointment must be obtained in writing.

2.8. Proof that the sponsor is qualified and willing to accept the office obligation also must be obtained.

2.9. The proxy must have the same qualifications as the sponsor, and the names of both must be recorded.

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