Can I be the sponsor at a Roman Catholic baptism?

Dear Father, I was asked to be a Godmother for a close friend of the family's. However, they are Roman Catholic. I was wondering if it is possible for me to do the honors, due to the religious difference. I would feel rather rude if I turned down such an honor.

Dear N,:

You CANNOT be a sponsor at the baptism. Orthodox are forbidden to pray in liturgical services with those not in the church. If you are a sponsor, this is your public statement that you consider Roman Catholics to be fully Orthodox, and that you are fully united to them in every way. This, of course, is not true, because of Rome's numerous heresies and distortions of true Christian teaching and lifestyle. You can certainly be present at the baptism and reception, but actual participation in it cannot be done. The same thing applies to being a sponsor in a wedding.

Perhaps you feel it is rude, or even unkind to turn down the invitation, but I ask you look at it in another way. We have the truth. It is unkind to delude others outside the church into thinking that we recognize them, and find nothing lacking in their faith. If we do this, we run the risk of making them comfortable with their false faith, and never desiring to enter the church! Of course, we must be tactful and kind, and not lambaste people with our doctrines, but there are lines we cannot cross, and prayer together in church is one of them.

May God bless you and help you in all things.

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas