Some background info- my bestfriend’s teenage daughter had a baby recently. My best friend and her family are protestant. The father of the baby and his family are Catholic - kinda.
Paternal Grandmother (mother of the baby’s father) requested the baby be baptized. The mother of the baby is fine with that even though she is not Catholic. She asked my husband and I to be the Godparents -which we were utterly thrilled about.
Today we were at a family gathering of my bestfriend’s. The paternal grandmother was there and we began talking about the baptism a bit. She tells my bestfriend Fr. Xxxx is really cool, he’s very laid back that’s why she likes him. He “doesn’t make you take those stupid baptism classes or anything”. Then she starts to tell my best friend the whole things “is very non-denominational, well it’s Catholic but it’s very non-denominational” -what ever that means. She goes on to say it’s not going to be a big deal or anything she actually used the phrase “wham, bam, thank-you mam” in describing how the baptism was going to go. I was mortified.
I spoke with my friend later and explained to her this is not normal behavior, baptism is a sacrament and it is a big deal. I’ve been praying for this baby to get baptized since she was born actually before she was born -and I was thrilled when I found out it was going to happen. I plan on being a very involved godmother because it’s obvious the baby will need it, I’m just sad the grandmother has such a poor view of the sacraments and the church in general.
I’d be rather worried too.
But this grandmother is someone who has to deal with protestants in her family and she no doubt thinks she needs to make such remarks to justify a practice of her Faith that she’s probably ill-equipped to defend. It’s not the ideal position but it is a typical one for someone living in an “ecumenical family”.
You are the one in a precarious position right now. You’re promising to be witnesses to this child’s CATHOLIC baptism. But you will have no authority to see that the child is raised according to the rules of the Church into which she is baptized. And I think you have good reason to question what will happen in the future.
I think you did right by speaking to your friend in private. You might also tell your friend (who may eventually have limited control over how her granddaughter will be raised) of your misgivings (if you haven’t already). Your friend and her daughter will probably have difficulty understanding why this is such a heavy burden for you and your husband. (I think you might have posted about this before but I don’t remember what your friend believes about infant baptism.)
But I think you need to make your friend and the mother of the child understand that you are worried about making a promise before God that is binding on someone else.
it is your duty as Catholic godparents to point out to both the baby’s parents that you intend to take your promise seriously to insure this child is raised CAtholic, and remind them they are making a solemn promise before God to do this themselves, no matter how “laid-back” the priest is. For all those here who criticize the various sacramental classes imposed on parents, please take note of the results when this vital step is ignored.
Totally agree with the previous posters who say you are right to be concerned.
Just wondering if it’s possible that paternal grandma might have been trying to “downplay” the sacrament since your best friend isn’t Catholic & this was at a family gathering? In an embarrassed, nervous, don’t-want-to-be-seen-as-a-Catholic-freak-in-public sort of way? Could she have been assuming that this would go over better with you, if she didn’t know your level of devotion to your faith?
Not that this would make any of what she said okay.
I see it as (in addition to the honor & lifelong connection to your goddaughter to-be) a great mentoring opportunity for you and the teen mom, to help educate her (or become more educated through pre-Jordan classes) about the real graces about to rain down!
I appreciate everyone’s (name removed by moderator)ut. The paternal grandmother does get nervous in social situations and my bestfriend and her family are regular church goers so part of it might have been trying to make them feel comfortable but I also do get the feeling she does not know her faith very well.
As far as my part in it, this baby will be baptized whether my husband and I are the godparents or not. If we are the godparents at least we will have an opportunity to be involved in passing on the faith. My bestfriend knows I am devout in my faith and will respect that I feel as part of being a godparent the responsibilty of doing so. If my husband and I were not the godparents then it could easily come across as postilatizing (sp?) and we would risk offending the family. I think God allowed us this opportunity for a reason, even if the situation is less than perfect.
I do continue to pray for both families and for the Holy Spirit to guide me to do God’s will, whatever that may be. God has answered every prayer so far in regards to my bestfriend and her family. In my heart I feel this is part of God’s plan even if it is less than ideal -I trust in God’s time his will will be done.
<<The mother of the baby is fine with that even though she is not Catholic. She asked my husband and I to be the Godparents -which we were utterly thrilled about.>>
The whole justification for infant baptism is that they are carried to the font on the authority of their parents’ faith.
Is it appropriate to baptize an infant into a Church of which the parent is not a member?
It just seems odd that the parents are not practicing Catholics and the Priest/Deacon will still do the baptism. That is a case I’ve never head of…
The father is Catholic, but he is a teenager and is lax in his faith although with his mother’s attitude I can how he has come to believe his faith is not important.
Perhaps you might want to speak to the Pastor of the church where the baptism is to be performed? Usually you must get a certification from your own parish, I would really want to know what was happening before I got involved.
As an infant, there is not much to be done, but what about when the child is ready for Mass and Holy Communion. Will you be able to keep your promises?