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Question 126

Dear father is it true that u can only Christen a child in the orthodox church if you are orthodox ?         


Answer to Question 126


We have seen this question a few weeks back to which I gave a very long answer showing that in the eyes of the Orthodox Church a Roman Catholic or Protestant isn’t baptized and therefore cannot be a Godparent to an Orthodox child. I can copy and paste what I wrote last time, but in simple terms, we may all call ourselves Christians, but we are not the same and we teach different dogmas.  But in recent years we have seen Catholics standing as second Godparents. The Church has allowed this as a dispensation - what we call “economia” because she understands that we live in multi-racial and multi-religious societies and close relationships with non-Orthodox cannot be avoided. But the second Catholic Godparent doesn’t actually take part in the service: he/she simply stands next to the first Godparent who is the only Godparent the Church officially recognizes by entering his/her name on the Baptism certificate and in the Church’s register. The Greek word for sponsor is ‘Ανάδοχος’ and means someone who receives and in the case of a baptism it refers to the Godparent receiving in his/her arms the baptized child. In truth there can only be one Ανάδοχος because only one person actually receives the child from the baptismal font.