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Sponsors who make profession of faith for the person being baptized. Solemn baptism requires godparents. The godparent assumes an obligation to instruct the child in the event of the death or neglect of the parents, in order to fulfill the baptismal promises. Being a godparent creates a spiritual relationship that is recognized in ecclesiastical law.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.