Can You Change Godparents?
Recently the following question was posed to me. “Deacon I would like to change the Godparent of my son. This person is never around; has not been involved in my son’s life and I would like to change this.
Even though this situation has occurred and unfortunately in other situations as well the person was chosen as a Godparent and the person agreed to serve in this capacity. When accepting this responsibility the Godparent(s) agreed to: regularly prayers for the Godchild and over see his/her Spiritual well-being in conjunction with the parents.
Hence from the Sacramental perspective once you are a Godparent you are always a Godparent. Baptisms like Confirmation & Holy Orders are Sacraments that can only be performed once on the recipient. All three of these Sacraments place a special character on the recipient’s soul. In Baptism the recipient becomes a new creation in Jesus’s Divine Mystical Body: a person of God, the Father and a new Adam.
Once this is conferred there is no need to do it again. Unfortunately there are many circumstances like these where Godparents are not involved. I have it in my own family. Hopefully when you choose Godparents you try to the very best of one’s ability to make sure they are “Active” Catholics meaning they have received Baptism, First Eucharist and Confirmation. Active means there is evidence they attend Mass and are involved in the Church on a consistent and regular basis. Even “the best laid plans of mice and men” as they say won’t guarantee certainty.
In the absence of committed Godparents parents can look to others in the family and/or friends who can be that “witness & example” for the child. While certainly a misfortune, remember these Sacraments are only conferred once. Going forward and “lesson learned” be very critical and picky as to whom the Sponsor for Confirmation and future Baptisms will be!