No more godparents in attendance at baptisms in Catania

There were no godparents in attendance at baptisms held this month in Catania, Sicily.

This after the diocese of the Catholic Church in this city stopped the old tradition of godparents for three years running, due to the way in which it was being abused.

Church officials believe that in today’s secular society, godparents are no longer a spiritual figure for baptized children, but are being used for material gifts, for networking purposes with influential people, or to strengthen ties within the family, sometimes even the mafia.

So much so that some well-known people were becoming godparents of dozens of babies, but many of them were not worthy of the role to offer spiritual guidance to these children.

Reports of threats to archpriests and others by persons of dubious character to be selected as godparents are not new.

Prosecutors in Italy used baptisms to keep track of how mafia leaders were spreading their influence.

Archbishop Guiseppe Fiorini Morosini had been calling for this tradition to be stopped since 2014, but a senior Vatican official, who is now accused of money laundering, had told him that for this to happen there must first be agreement by all Bishops.

He stated however that he would mentioned the issue to Pope Francis, who seemed to listen to his concerns.