Rome Newsroom, Oct 20, 2021 / 06:10 am
There will be no godfathers named in the Sicilian archdiocese of Catania for the next three years due to a decree issued by the archbishop that came into full effect this month.
Archbishop Salvatore Gristina of Catania has said that he decided to temporarily suspend the naming of godparents and Confirmation sponsors because the tradition had become a “social custom in which the dimension of faith is hardly visible.”
Catania is the Italian island of Sicily’s second-largest city, located on the base of the active volcano, Mount Etna. The city has a long Catholic history, tracing its first bishop back to the first-century St. Birillus, whom local tradition holds was ordained by St. Peter himself.
But the archbishop said that in today’s “socio-ecclesial context” in Catania, particularly with “the irregular family situation of so many people,” often those who were selected by families to be the godparents or Confirmation sponsors do not meet the canonical requirements for the role.