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#1
Old 04-10-2003, 03:46 PM
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How to "De-Godparent" somebody (Catholic)

My wife and I made an awful mistake, as subsequent events have shown, in asking somebody to be our baby's Godparents. Now, after the church ceremony and all, we wish to rectify our mistake. Any ideas as to how*?

*Yes, I know we should ask the priest. But I'd rather get some info here before going to him as he will then ask a lot of questions that, while germaine to the situation, I don't have to answer on this board.
#2
Old 04-10-2003, 03:51 PM
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Oh, and as the thread title suggests, we are Catholic.

Thanks!
#3
Old 04-10-2003, 03:53 PM
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Make them an offer they can refuse?
#4
Old 04-10-2003, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Canon law says nothing about this question, but the following principles should be used by the pastor before honoring such a request.:

1) There must be a very serious reason, such as the abandonment of the faith by the present godparent (not just non-practicing, but actually joining another religion or becoming an atheist.)

2) If the reason is not very serious, but there is still a good reason, the present godparent must consent in writing to allowing another to assume this role.
Taken from here.
#5
Old 04-10-2003, 04:25 PM
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We don't know you. Please give details. We won't tell anyone!
#6
Old 04-10-2003, 05:13 PM
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Ugh. For me to post all that, this thread would have to go into MPSIMS or The Pit. How about I link to another forum where I've already typed the whole drama out? (Trust me, it's a long story, one that has been going on a year.)

If you are really interested, this thread will explain my "crime" - leaving the family business. The first post is pretty much all you have to read, though you might want to look for others for more juicy tales in regards to my family.

This thread will tell you what happened because of my resignation and how/why my parents stole $18,000 from me, including 3 months of health insurance for my family. Once again, the first post gives all the salient facts, but some titillating details can be found in my replies.

Lastly, this thread will continue the tale from September onwards. This is a long one thread, with the tale being told through my first 4 or 5 posts.

The issue is this: My sister, my daughter's godmother, has done absolutely nothing in Sophie's behalf. The only requested that I made of her was to speak to my father about this, and she refused saying "it's not up to me to fight your battles."

I didn't ask her to fight my battles... I am perfectly capable of fighting these people by myself (as the linked threads will show). Otoh, I do believe that as Godmother my sister has a responsibility to take some action, namely, to ask my father why he'd do such a thing and, possibly, tell him that he's in the wrong.

"Nope, don't wanna, not up to me to get involved."

Given that her goddaughter's (and niece's) health coverage was stolen by our father, I think that she has a responsibility to at least protest his actions. But she won't, claiming that I deserved this because I didn't get the agreement in writing and that this "failure" on my part relieves her of any responsibility towards Sophie. The fact that I spent two damn weeks trying to wring out a written agreement is, apparently, going to be ignored by her for all time.

She assumes that her responsibility as a Godmother ended when the baptism ceremony was over. I am of the opinion that she is wrong. Since I'm my daughter's father, my opinion takes precedence.

This battle isn't over yet, and I have yet to petition the church. But if/when it gets resolved and if she has yet to do anything, I will remove her as my child's godmother.
#7
Old 04-10-2003, 05:19 PM
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She assumes that her responsibility as a Godmother ended when the baptism ceremony was over. I am of the opinion that she is wrong. Since I'm my daughter's father, my opinion takes precedence.


Well I don't want to get involved in yoru family battle but a Godparent should take the place of a parent when something happens to the parents. They are also responsible for fostering the childs spiritual development. Or maybe it's been WAAAY too long since I have been in Catholic shurch (more than likely the case) My Godparents were around a lot and showed me a lot of attention until I became a tennager - then they forgot my name.
#8
Old 04-10-2003, 06:26 PM
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IANCatholic, but my daughter and husband are. From what I understood at her baptism, her godparents are supposed to help in religious instruction. They don't automatically take the place of the parents if something happens (if you wish that to be the case, you need to make those arrangements separately). I don't remember any discussion about advocacy regarding a child's medical benefits or anything else other than religious instruction and upbringing.

Frankly, I can see your sister's point. If I were your sister, I wouldn't be too keen to get in on this family battle, and I don't think that my role as a godparent would obligate me to do so.

How old is your daughter? I noticed that you referred to her has the "baby" in some of your linked posts, so I'm assuming she's still quite young, and hasn't done anything like First Communion or anything like that yet. So... the fact that your sister hasn't done much "godparently" since baptism may just mean that she hasn't had much of an opportunity. Then again, if she truly things her godparent responsibilities ended with baptism, then perhaps she should step aside and let you choose someone else to take that responsibility.

I don't think that spite is a good reason at all to remove godparent privileges. It sounds like you are trying to use your daughter as a tool to get your way in this altercation--refusing to let her grandparents see her, etc.--and I don't think that is such a good idea.
#9
Old 04-10-2003, 06:42 PM
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Daaaaaaaaamn, dude! That whole thing is incredible! And very sad.

Yes, it's too bad your daughter will not have the "benefit" (if you can call it that) of knowing her grandparents, but obviously in this case, it'll be no great loss. Quite the contrary.

Personally, I think you'd be totally justified (and probably happier) in cutting the whole lot outta yer life, moving the hell outta Tn, and starting a whole new life! F! 'em all.

Best wishes for future happiness.
#10
Old 04-10-2003, 07:04 PM
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I think your sister's view is justified. She doesn't know what happened, only what she's being told by family members, some of whom may now be trying to use her in a family dispute. I don't think the pastor would feel very good about slapping her with a non-godparent sticker over this.
#11
Old 04-10-2003, 09:01 PM
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I guess I just don't understand Catholicism. Since your sister feels her responsibility as a Godmother ended when the baptism ceremony was over, what is the problem? Tell her she is no longer the Godmother; she will probably be relieved. Or does your faith require some sort of ceremony to make it official? What happens if it is not official? Or is this more about making your sister feel approriately guilty for not living up to your expectations??
#12
Old 04-10-2003, 09:28 PM
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Well...

That does sound pretty messed up. And you do come across as responsible and credible. Btw, I also worked for my dad for far too long, and the splitting wasn't all that amicable. In hindsight, breaking away was by far the most positive thing I ever did in my life. But I digress...

I suspect there's another side to this story. I suspect it isn't a particularly strong other side, but I just find it hard to believe that your own dad and step-mom would lead you on with lies and then flat-out cheat you so viciously without some reason. Even if it's not a very good reason. But this is also a digression...

What I really think is that your sister is caught in the middle of things. And that you probably really pushed her to publicly turn her back on her parents, and that though she loves you, that was too much to ask. And it probably was. It's not her fault things are sour between you and pops. Personally, I think you should take some time and think about this. Pushing her out of your life for the sake of vengenance over an issue where she's really just a third-party isn't the high road.
#13
Old 04-10-2003, 10:00 PM
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The role of a godparent is threefold:[list=1][*]For adults who are being baptized, helping them to prepare for baptism[*]For infants being baptized, present the child with the parents for baptism.[*]For adults and infants, help them after baptism to be good Christians, fulfilling the requirements of faith.[/list=1]

It has never been Church teaching that godparents take over the rearing of the children or are bound to be involved in any other area of the children's life.

Therefore, the godparent in this thread is not bound by Church teaching or practice to step into "the issue."

Therefore, the parents in "this issue" have no basis to de-godparent the godparent.

Your local pastor may tell you that since these other so-called obligations of godparenthood which you think exist (but by Church standards do not exist) are cultural expectations, you are free to go around naming as many new cultural godparents as you want. But the official baptismal register in the Church isn't going to change. The godparents at the time of baptism were the godparents at the time of baptism and history doesn't get rewritten in a fit of pique.

As has been mentioned in JuanitaTech's post above, only in cases of formal heresy or public scandal would a record of a newly chosen godparent be recorded in the baptismal registry.

And finally, as a matter of mental health and maturity, you don't drag other family members into your problems with other family members. Yes, you can honestly discuss with them the problems you're having with other family members. But if they are not part of the problem, you don't make them part of it or throw temper tantrums by threatening to de-godparent them if they don't take your side and do your bidding, no matter how justified your side might be. Your pastor may also mention this to you declining to change the godparent of record.

Peace.
#14
Old 04-10-2003, 10:00 PM
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Oh, one more question....

I've read the whole mess btw, and one thing keeps coming back to me. Your dad (and acme) claims that he doesn't have any authority, but you don't mention any conversations with your mother-in-law, who they claim and you claim runs things. What's the story with her? Have you had any discussions with her on resolving this? Not that I'm implying your father's right, or that his "not being able to represent the company legally" holds any water. Just that standard negotiating procedure is to get past the little guys and talk to the decision maker. And you strike me as someone who knows that.
#15
Old 04-10-2003, 10:40 PM
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My mother was nuts, eventually alienated her entire family, including my godparents (we were Catholic) when I was about 12. My godparents (my mother's younger sister & youngest brother) dumped me as a result of this rift with my mother. I have never seen or spoken to either of them in lo, these many years & they have never made any effort to get in touch with me. Yet they both continue to be very active Catholics. I've been a Presbyterian for 30 years.

Why don't you try being nuts?
#16
Old 04-11-2003, 07:39 AM
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Ugh. This thread has become a MSPISM, which is totally my fault. My apologies to the mods.

I appreciate the advice and concede the point (I did talk to a priest, after all, and he reiterated what many of you said here).

Y'all can now close this thread.
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