Is it possible to change your child's godparent?

My best-friend and her “then” fiance are my son’s godparents. For a variety of unforseen and unimaginable reasons, they did not wed and the godfather on my son’s baptismal certificate plays no role in his life currently. Is it possible to administratively or ritually change my son’s godparent to someone who has an active role in his life?

I don’t have an answer but I hope you get one. My DD’s “Godfather” turned out to be a pedofile. I’d love to get his name off her baptismal certificate!

I had a similar problem. Both priests listed on my baptismal certificates…well, they aren’t priests anymore for similar reasons :frowning:

As far as I know you can not change the Godparents after the fact

No, not unless you can turn back time. The recorded Godparent is the person who stood during the actual Baptism.

…unless we can turn back time…:hmmm:

I already checked. years ago. Sadly - NOPE.

I don’t understand this too well, but no matter how big of a heretical wierdo the person is, that is it. Case closed.

Deacon Lansing gave the information this one last year. If you do a CAF search (see the word “search” there in black on the orange band), you can find out more about this. It’s a common questioin here at CAF.

When time comes for Confirmation, your child’s Confirmation Sponsor does not have to be the Godparent from Baptism - while it is good if that same person is an active role model, it is not always the case. The parent’s chose the Godparents at Baptism, the at Confirmation the young man/woman should choose for themselves. Maybe start now bringing people into your circle who would make good Confirmation sponsors in a few years!

May I make a suggestion?
I have a simillar problem. I make NO mention of this issue/problem to my child.
#2- there is NO reason why you can’t have a Catholic you trust respect and admire suddenly be deemed “auntie” or “uncle”

I guess that works for me - but mine is a toddler. This situation works for me, but- I feel for you- it sucks.

My cousin just checked on this.

Apparently (at least this is what she told me she was told) the only way you can have someone removed from the baptismal record is if they are convicted of murder. You can add someone ONLY if they were there - ie they witnessed the baptism.

I’m not finding anything in canon law with regards to changing a baptismal record. I don’t see how you would be able to “add” a person. If they witnessed it, they should be recorded

Can. 877 ß1 The parish priest of the place in which the baptism was conferred must carefully and without delay record in the register of baptism the names of the baptized, the minister, the parents, the sponsors and, if there were such, the witnesses, and the place and date of baptism. He must also enter the date and place of birth.

So, I cannot imagine there would be a situation where you would need to add a witness after the fact, nor would I imagine this would or should be permissable.

I’m hoping some day I could find “surrogate” godparents for my children. The ones I chose aren’t devoted Catholics (the Godfather isn’t even Catholic). I knew at the time they weren’t going to do their “Godparent” duties but I had no choice. I didn’t know anyone else. Within months after they received first communion (1 yr after they were baptized) we stopped going to Mass for almost a year. We went a few times at the most. Not once did the Godparents express concern (or even mention the Church for that matter).

It is axiomatic that not all law of the Church is contained in the code of canon law. There are also complementary norms, particular law in dioceses, proper law in institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life, and in personal prelatures. Certain Roman congregations have their own specific law and norms. They may issue instructions, also often called directories, which specify how the law is to be observed and which themselves have legal weight. There are privileges and legal customs. There are, to stop short of a longer, comprehensive listing, a lot of places to look for law on a given subject.

Similar provisions do exist in the complementary norms of the USCCB regarding baptismal records in the cases of adoption.

While the historical fact cannot be altered, particular law or practice in the diocese* may allow* some notation in this case. The door is open.

  • Some* jurisdictions permit the possibility of adding a note in the margin of the record in which it is stated that at the parents’ request and for a suitable reason, the diocesan bishop now permits Mr. X and/or Ms. Y to serve as spiritual guide or sponsors for the child. Souvenir certificates would adjusted to reflect this and the wording is up to what the bishop might want.

At least, the question can be pursued through the parish priest or even the diocesan chancellor, and either of them would know what is permitted in the particular diocese and what can be done. It’s worth a try. You never know.


Actually, now DD has an honorary Gaddfadda. So we’re pretty happy with him.:whistle: