Q: Thank you so much for your insights and responses on liturgical questions. The question I have is on a confirmation sponsor proxy. There seems to be a bit of disagreement even within our diocese. Must the proxy adhere to the same requirements as the confirmation sponsor. i.e., requirements of age, being confirmed, etc., etc.? I really don’t see anything in canon law about the proxy requirements.
A: When I wade into the waters of canon law, I quickly get in over my head. You really need a canonist to answer this. I’ve consulted one here, and looked up a reference in John Huels’s The Pastoral Companion, and I still don’t see much helpful information dating to anything more recent than 1926, though canon 875 says with reference to baptism that, if the sponsor is not present, some witness should be there.
Here is my understanding: A sponsor who cannot be present needs to designate a proxy in writing or verbally so that it is clear that the sponsor understands and accepts the responsibility. I see no requirements that the proxy have the same qualifications as the sponsor. But the names of both the sponsor and the proxy are best entered into the record.
Again, please check with a local canonist to make sure.