Q. 1. You indicate on your website that we can only have one Godmother and one Godfather, only one of each gender, a maximum of two combined. My friend, one of her children had 3 Godmothers. The other one had 2 Godmothers. Their names are listed on the Baptismal Certificate that she has. Can you explain this?
A. 1. Thanks for bringing this matter to my attention. I did an investigation by contacting both, the Parish involved and the office of the Diocese. I was informed that the Baptismal Book only has one name for each child, the first Godmother listed on the Baptismal Certificates.
This is a confusing situation that both, the Parish and Diocese, are implementing. On the Baptismal Certificate that the parents receive, there are only 2 lines as follows:
Consequently, all the ladies who are present, be they Godmother or witnesses, are listed on the line that says "Godmother."
Proper Baptism Certificates state:
Female Witness: ___________________
Male Witness: _____________________
In this case, there would be one name under "Godmother" and two names under "Female Witness."
Legally, in accordance with Church Laws, the "Female Witnesses" should not be listed. Why? Because you are only allowed one male and one female, both being Godparents, or one being a Godparent and the other a witness. Since there is a female under "Godmother," there cannot be any females under "Witnesses."
As can be appreciated, this Diocese is creating a situation where it is confusing parents who are not familiar with the Church requirements regarding Godparents (now called "Sponsors").
In reality, these Baptism Certificates are meaningless as the only valid information is the Baptismal Book kept by the Church. In that Book, there is only one Godparent of each gender that is recorded. If there is no Godfather, then only the Godmother is registered as a Godparent.
I hope this clarifies the situation.