Grandmother as godmother

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q:  I have a grandmother who has just received custody of her 2 grandchildren and she wants to get them Baptized. They are 4 and 5 years old. She has permission from the parents but she also wants to be the Godmother. Ordinarily this would not be a problem but since she is now their guardian I was wondering if that would still be ok. She says that she knows other Catholics who are Confirmed but are no longer practicing which is why she wants to be the kids godmother. What are your thoughts?


A:  There is no law forbidding a grandmother from being a godmother. So, legally, she can do it.

But the rite has roles for parents (or guardians) and godparents. If she is planning to fulfill both functions in the rite, then that would be awkward. Permissible, I guess, but not very expressive.

If the mother could come to the baptism and take the role of the parent, that would be the best.

If she cannot, then I think the grandmother would want to act the part of the parent/guardian, and assign someone else to the godparent role. Even the priest may assign a godparent.

The grandmother already has a role. She’s the grandmother. The child might benefit from another adult, a godparent, who could assist with the other responsibilities of growing in faith.