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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1. Recently, I was ready the "Baptism FAQs" on the website of the Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in McKees Rocks, PA, USA. Under the section of "What are the requirements for Godparents?," it stated, ""If you choose two godparents of the same sex, one can be the "official" godparent for the record book, and the other can be the "honorary" one. (Just as above, you don't have to tell anyone which is which except us.)"

It is my understanding that you can only have one Godparent of each gender. Furthermore, I cannot find any Catholic teaching on the matter of an "honorary" Godparent, nor the secrecy surrounder which Godparent is the "official" one versus the "honorary" one. There is no information on this matter in the Code of Canon Law, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church or in any guidelines issued by the Vatican. Can you please comment on this matter?

A. 1. In a few words, there is no such thing as "honorary" Godparents in the Catholic Church. This is a perfect example of abuse of the liturgy, either the parish priest or the parish counsel/committe having designed their own format regarding the Sacrament of Baptism.

It is also very disturbing to read on the aforementioned website that you do not have to tell the Godparent candidates who is the official Godparent and who is not, pretending that they are all Godparents when such is not the case. Such is dishonest and a deception. [2 Timothy 3:13]

Catholics should not entertain this abuse and proceed in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church, nothing less, nothing more. Do not place yourself in a position where in the future you will have to account as to who is the official Godparent on the Baptismal Certificate, one male and one female. And if more than one male or one female were listed, the Catholic Church only recognizes the first male and the first female as the official Godparents of the child. There cannot be two of the same gender if there is none listed of the opposite gender.

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