Whilst I await a reply back from the Maltese Diocese as to how one should go about organising the Baptism of a baby - especially one born to a Single Parent - I've decided to look into what being a Godparent is all about.
Well, seeing as the Roman Catholic Church is pretty strict when it comes to guidelines, it means that some potentially awesome Godparents would not qualify by the Church's standards. The following is derived from the Cathecism of the Catholic Church:
Baptism is the sacrament of faith. But faith needs the community of believers. It is only within the faith of the Church that each of the faithful can believe. The faith required for Baptism is not a perfect and mature faith, but a beginning that is called to develop. The catechumen or the godparent is asked: “What do you ask of God’s Church?” The response is: “Faith!”
For all the baptised, children or adults, faith must grow after Baptism. For this reason the Church celebrates each year at the Easter Vigil the renewal of baptismal promises. Preparation for Baptism leads only to the threshold of new life. Baptism is the source of that new life in Christ from which the entire Christian life springs forth.
For the grace of Baptism to unfold, the parents’ help is important. So too is the role of the godfather and godmother, who must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptised – child or adult on the road of Christian life. Their task is a truly ecclesial function (officium). The whole ecclesial community bears some responsibility for the development and safeguarding of the grace given at Baptism."
What does this mean?
This means that the Godparents chosen must be baptised Roman Catholics. In certain Dioceses it is sufficient for just one to be Roman Catholic - however the other Godparent must be a baptised Christian within some other Christian tradition [e.g. Protestant, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox etc]
Traditionally, the role of Godparents is to be the Guides that allow the Baptised Child to advance through their Religious Life and mature into Roman Catholics in their own right.
This link will take you to the Code of Canon Law, which details the criteria Godparents must meet.
For further reading, here's an excellent article about the Godparents' role.
What about the Saining Ritual?
Well, seeing as Paganism does not have a fixed structure, due to it not being an Organised Religion, really and truly it does not matter what faith the Godparents chosen belong to, as long as they can be Positive Role Models who can be of positive influence within their symbolic parenthood. It is very important to keep in mind that there is a huge difference between being Spiritual and being Religious in this day and age.
This means that should you wish, you can have anyone filling in the role - be they male, female, transgendered, Pagan, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish - as long as you feel they can do the job.