letter to the editor

Thoughts on “A young man, adrift, hopes to return to the Catholic Church”

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To the editor:

It’s not often that I agree with what Father Kiley writes in his “Quiet Corner”. But last week’s article entitled “A young man, adrift, hopes to return to the Catholic Church” is certainly a service to all the priests of the diocese.

How ready many Catholics are to share stories of how a “mean priest” denied a sponsor certificate to someone who only wanted to be a godparent for a child. “It’s not fair to punish a little baby” just because the proposed godparent doesn’t go to church, isn’t confirmed, isn’t married in the church, is living with someone outside of marriage, has his or her own children who haven’t been baptized or aren’t being raised Catholic, or has left the Catholic Church to attend some other denomination.

I’m surprised the young man didn’t raise the recently popular excuse -“You priests molest children, who are you to judge me?”

The blame lies squarely with the parents who ask someone who isn’t living their own faith to be their child’s godparent. Parents who want background checks and FBI investigations on babysitters and daycare providers, ask Uncle Tony because it’s “his turn”, and they know he’ll have a large check for the baby. “Just because he never goes to church doesn’t mean he’s a bad person.” No, but it does mean he’s not an appropriate representative of the worshipping Christian community which is welcoming this little child.

If they were half as careful in choosing the godparent as they are in choosing the caterer for the baptism reception, then they would find someone who is a good example of living a Catholic Christian life and will be an inspiring companion in the child’s path of faith.

The saddest comment of all is when a couple says that there is no one in their family and they don’t know anyone who is a “good Catholic.”

In this age when many young parents requesting baptism for their child are so negligent in their own practice of the faith, it is more important than ever that godparents be vibrant, living examples of faith, whom the children can look up to on their lifelong journey of following Jesus.

Rev. Michael Leckie

Hope Valley, R.I.