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Rhodes Baptism Prevented Until Godmother Gets Church Wedding

A baptism on the island of Rhodes was postponed because the godmother’s wedding had been performed according to a civil ceremony rather than religious rite. Local newspaper Rhodian Democracy reports that the parents were informed that they needed to replace the godparent if they wanted the baptism to continue. The decision to prevent baptisms such as the one in question taking place comes from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Istanbul, and outlines that people married in civil services cannot be godparents to children christened in the Greek Orthodox faith.
In the case of the baptism in question, the godmother is also the aunt of the child and a sister to the mother. She was planning to perform a religious wedding after her political one, however, her pledge to have a church ceremony was unable to sway the priest into performing the baptism with her as the godmother.
The baby’s grandmother told the newspaper that she cannot understand the decision to not allow the baptism to take place. “From the moment that there is no direct separation between the church and state, from the moment that priests are paid by the state, by the Ministry of Education, then how can they ignore the law of the land in regards to civil wedding rites,” said the child’s grandmother when interviewed by the local newspaper that ran the story.
The result? The baptism will be delayed because the parents do not want to replace the godmother. The baptism will take place after the godparents have their religious wedding ceremony when the baby is 2.5 years of age.
From time to time there have been a number of incidents where priests refuse to allow godparents to baptize children to the surprise of parents. In the past, godparents were refused on the grounds of what they were wearing and, in another case, a priest stopped a baptism after asking a child if she wanted to get baptized and receiving a negative answer.

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