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Role of godparents
Question from K.D. on 8/11/2014:

My wife and I are the godparents to our nephew. He is about to enter the second grade and, hence, should begin preparations for his first confession and first Communion.

Now here is our problem. My brother-in-law is nominally Catholic and his wife isn't Catholic. They do not regularly attend Mass (they do attend other Christian services, of various denominations). And they've lived overseas for the last four-plus years, meaning that we have had limited opportunities to serve as a visible example for the boy or to have meaningful discussions regarding Catholicism. At the time of the baptism, we made a point of going over our role (as godparents) and how we expected to live this out (we were less than sure that their priest had such a frank discussion of their parental role in bringing the boy up in the faith).

At this point, we need to have a discussion about this with the parents and would value any suggestions you might be able to provide. My wife and I've been praying about this a lot and are concerned that any honest discussion might permanently sour them on raising him Catholic.

Answer by Catholic Answers on 8/19/2014:

K.D.--

If your in-laws are living overseas, and you have reason to believe that a discussion with them about their faith life would sour them on continuing to raise their son Catholic, then what purpose would be served by doing so? If it is merely to satisfy your own scruples, then I can only recommend letting it go (at least until they seem more amenable to such a discussion). You could always revisit this around when their son is confirmed. It seems to me that such a discussion now would only be fruitful if you have reason to believe that it would convince them to be more diligent about taking their son to Mass. If it will do that, then focus the discussion there. Ask them if there is anything you can do to assist them in getting to Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation (e.g., finding Catholic Masses for them to attend in the area in which they are living).

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers


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