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Are there requirements for being a godparent?

Full Question

My sister is planning on having her baby baptized soon. She asked my brother and his wife to be godparents, but they are both divorced Catholics. Neither got an annulment. Will the baptism be valid?


The Code of Canon Law requires godparents for infant baptism “insofar as possible” (CIC 872); they are not an absolute requirement for valid baptism. To be a godparent, a person must be one “who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on” (CIC 874 §1). Your brother and his wife do not qualify because of their irregular marriage. In such a case, their sponsorship as godparents would be illicit (not in conformity with the law of the Church), but the baptism would still be valid.

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