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Ask Fr. Francis: What Are Our Responsibilities as Godparents?

The following is an excerpt from askfrfrancis.org. Fr. Francis Ching, CC answers tough questions about the Catholic faith.

Fr. Francis Ching PortraitQuestion: 

What are our responsibilities as godparents? We have a goddaughter whose parents send her to catechism classes, but do not actively practice the faith. We constantly pray for her and write spiritual letters to her, but as she grows older, she seems to be uninterested in the Catholic faith. What else can we do to fulfill our roles?

Fr. Francis' answer:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that the primary educators of the children are the parents. When the parents are not only providing material needs, but teaching and forming their children by words and deeds, the proper education of their children is better safeguarded.

"However, when parents are not good examples of faith, but merely sending their kids to Catholic schools and programs, the children soon realize that they do not need to practice what they learn either, since their parents do not. This same mentality is found regardless of the quality of these Catholic programs or classes. They certainly could help a bit, but the big question is their parents’ own faith practices."

It is for this reason, that in the Rite of Baptism for Children, it stipulates that the role of godparents primarily is NOT for the education of the children or to replace their parents, as has been popularly believed. Rather, their foremost duty is to assist the parents to fulfill their Christian duties, that is, among other things, to be the first and the best of teachers of the faith for their children.

Read the full answer here!

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