84 – In the case of divorcees who have remarried, we posed the question, what do we do with them? What door can we allow them to open? Why can’t they be godfathers and godmothers? Things need to change

Ever since the beginning, God established matrimony as an indissoluble alliance and granted it a blessing that was “not forfeited by original sin, nor washed away by the flood.” In elevating matrimony to the dignity of a sacrament, Jesus Christ not only made this union more indissoluble and holy, but also willed that it reflect His own fidelity to the Church.

If we analyze the pages of history, it is evident that for the pagans, in diverse eras, divorce and repudiation were widespread attitudes that even enjoyed recognition. The Church, however, has always considered divorce as a grave sin; and the Popes have never tired of warning Christians so that they don’t allow themselves to be contaminated with such pagan customs.

It is tradition in the Church that the newly baptized have godparents. This charge, far from being just a social duty – as some unfortunately consider it – entails the serious obligation of educating in the Faith both by word and example, practicing the Commandments and living a virtuous life. “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin – Jesus said– it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of things that cause sin! Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come!” (Mt 18:6-7). That is why the Church, with characteristic wisdom conferred by its Divine Spouse, has always decreed that only Catholics who lead a life in accordance with the Faith may be admitted as godparents in Baptism. Therefore, those who publically and obstinately live in grave sin may not be admitted to the special mission of guarding anyone’s faith.


Quote A

Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter in the various parts of our study

I – The necessary requirements to be godparents of Baptism, and the obligations assumed in this mission
II – Matrimony is indissoluble. Divorce: a sin consistently denounced by the Popes

I – The necessary requirements to be godparents of Baptism, and the obligations assumed in this mission

Code of Canon Law

A sponsor assists the baptized person in Christian initiation
The godparents must lead a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on

Catechism of Trent

Pastors should explain the office of godparents so that they understand what is chiefly necessary for its proper performance
The baptized should be entrusted to the care of someone well skilled in divine things
The imperative necessity of godparents to assist pastors in the private instruction in the rudiments of faith
The negligence with which the office of sponsors is often treated
“I admonish you who have acquired godchildren through Baptism, to consider that you stood as sureties before God”
It is the duty of sponsors to admonish their spiritual children to observe chastity
It is easy to decide who are inadmissible to this holy guardianship

Catechism of Saint Pius X

Catholics of good life, and obedient to the laws of the Church should be chosen as godfathers and godmothers

Catechism of the Catholic Church

The godparent’s task is a truly ecclesial function

Saint Thomas Aquinas

The baptized child is bound by another in things necessary for salvation
Duty of instructing in the mode of Christian life

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

The catechumens should learn to bear witness of their lives

John Paul II

These little ones must find in their godparents support, guidance and example
The Church desires that the godparents assume the grave duty of giving a good example
God expects that godparents cooperate with parents in educating according to the teachings of the Gospel
The mission of the godparents has an eminent importance in catechesis

Benedict XVI

The renunciation of sin by the godfathers and godmothers constitutes the necessary premises for the Church to confer Baptism
Helped by the example of their godparents, the baptized must walk in this light of faith
A demanding mission that requires drawing from the good springs
Godparents must offer good example openly and without compromises
To carry a baby to the baptismal font is a gift and a joy, but also a responsibility

II – Matrimony is indissoluble. Divorce: a sin consistently denounced by the Popes

Code of Canon Law

Marriage can be dissolved by no human power

Catechism of Trent

Our Lord says clearly: ‘Whosoever shall put away his wife and shall marry another commits adultery’
Bound by the bond of marriage with no hope of marrying another, spouses are rendered less prone to strife and discord

Council of Trent

Christ Himself merited the grace of indissoluble union for us by His passion
Heresy, grievous cohabitation or voluntary absence from the spouse does not dissolve matrimony
If anyone says that the Church errs in teaching, in accordance with Apostolic doctrine, that the bond of matrimony cannot be dissolved, let him be anathema
Matrimonial causes are subject to ecclesiastical judges

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

Matrimony imposes total fidelity and an unbreakable oneness

Gregory XVI

Troublesome efforts against the Sacrament of Matrimony still continue


The Church is ever watchful in guarding the sanctity and indissolubility of Marriage
The wish to declare dissoluble the matrimonial bond is a deadly pest to society
Marriage has become still more binding and more holy through Christ

Stephen III

Marrying again when you are already married is to act as the heathen do

Pius VII

Grave attempt against the divine and natural law


How great are the evils that flow from divorce…
…opening a way to every kind of evil-doing in public and in private life
Divorce leads to the most extreme licentiousness

Pius XII

A poison that is corrupting no small part of the human family

John Paul II

Do not separate what God has joined together
Children condemned as orphans of living parents

Benedict XVI

The so-called ‘extended’ family impresses upon children an erroneous typology of the family

Pius IX

Any other union except the sacramental union is nothing else than disgraceful concubinage


The family cannot be restored to its dignity except by those laws under which it was established in the Church

John Paul II

A second union is in contradiction with the nature of the Sacrament of Marriage
To admit divorced remarried persons to the Eucharist is to lead the faithful into error and confusion
The respect due to the Sacrament of Matrimony forbids any pastor to perform ceremonies for divorced people who ‘remarry’

Catechism of the Catholic Church

In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ, the Church does not recognize second unions
The ‘remarried’ cannot receive Communion as long as their situation persists - for the same reason, they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Recalling the doctrine and discipline of the Church

International Theological Commission

Changing the Church’s doctrine would be transforming Her into a countersign and a counterwitness of Christ

Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts

The Church cannot promote scandal

Pius XII

People feel the need for a better and more elevated concept of domestic life
Catholic marriage may not be compared with the irreverent and shameless image of marriage and infidelity portrayed in films

Pius XI

The modern means of communication seek to deride the sanctity of marriage
The advocates of neo-paganism today proclaim that a new and ‘more humane’ legislation take the place of ‘antiquated laws’ on the indissolubility of marriage
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10 thoughts on “84 – In the case of divorcees who have remarried, we posed the question, what do we do with them? What door can we allow them to open? Why can’t they be godfathers and godmothers? Things need to change

  1. “our standards need to change”
    That describe exactly what Francis is always doing- changeing the standards of the Church. And making it into a Swedish Church. Luther must be delighted.
    Thank you for your wonderful job. Here in Malmo, you cannot imagine how much good you all are doing.

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