Can a grandmother be a Godmother to her grandchild?

Please! Tell me no. It would make telling my mom no much easier… Oy.

We have a wonderful couple who we’ve asked to be our children’s Godparents. My mom is Catholic, but currently non-practicing, and just asked me what she has to do to be my newborn daughter’s Godmother. Obviously she’d have to go to Reconciliation and start attending Mass regularly, but even if she did that, is this a possibility?

I’ll tell her no, anyway. She’d just take the news better if she couldn’t do it no matter what.

A parent is forbidden from also being a godparent, but other relatives, including grandparents, are allowed. My pastor has discouraged people from automatically asking aunts and uncles to be godparents with the explanation that those people will be in the child’s life anyway; godparents are an opportunity to bring additional faithful adults into the child’s life. Perhaps that explanation would make your mother feel better about not being chosen.

Here are the relevant sections of canon law:

Can. 874 §1. To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor a person must:

1/ be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function;

2/ have completed the sixteenth year of age, unless the diocesan bishop has established another age, or the pastor or minister has granted an exception for a just cause;

3/ be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on;

4/ not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;

5/ not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized.

My parents are my son’s godparents, but my father gave his grand/godson the most beautiful example of being a faithful Catholic. He passed away at the age of 89, but up until the last few weeks of his life, he never missed Mass though he was dying of pancreatic cancer (and we had to have a priest come to the house to tell him he was dispensed from the obligation due to his condition… but even then he felt he was missing out on something.)

You should say: “Oh, Mom, have you returned to the Church!? That’s wonderful! Tell me about it!”

Your mother gave you life and raised you. Why not allow her to be the godmother? It may be what’s necessary to bring her back to the church. Telling her why you’d rather she not be a godmother might just be enough to keep her away.

I know my mother and that, while she might for a while at first, she would not continue to pray for my daughter’s spiritual growth and be the things to my daughter a Godparent should. We have had Godparents picked out since November and my mom knows this. They are not family, but wonderful people and wonderful examples of people strong in the Catholic faith who have already taken on the role even though it’s not official. I think for her it is just a title she desires to have. She didn’t even ask to be my son’s, who also has yet to be Baptized. She said something about only having one granddaughter born by her one daughter, so I think it’s just a title/prestige/perfect world thing she wants. I have high doubts that she would actually take on the responsibilities being a Godparent entails. As my daughter’s mother, it is my responsibility to choose the best person for HER, not to choose someone because it may or may not bring them back to the Church, when I highly doubt it would be a permanent change if it even worked.

I’d love for my family to reconcile with the Church, but I’m not going to use my child to make it happen and sacrifice the gift of a Godmother who would truly fulfill the role for her.

Of course, I will not say all of THAT to her. I’ll probably just say we’ve already made the decision and we are happy with it. I already told her that having someone else as Godmother doesn’t take away from her role as grandmother and just puts someone else on my daughter’s team she wouldn’t have otherwise.

My grandfather was my brother’s godfather. This was back in the early 60s

Older siblings can also be godparents, although in the case I’m thinking of, both of the older siblings are now atheists.