Q — I was married in the church, but then had a divorce. I am now in a second marriage, but a civil marriage, without a church annulment. If I am practicing my faith may I be a sponsor in respect of the sacrament of Confirmation?

A
— This is a very difficult pastoral question. Obviously, if someone is “practicing their faith,” this has to be taken seriously. Such a person is trying to live the good life, in accord with the gospel and the spirit of the Christian life. But in terms of the communion of the church, more needs to be said.
If I am attempting to practice my faith, which is always an ecclesial faith, and, therefore, not simply my own private option, then it seems important to sort out my irregular marriage situation. In practical terms this would mean seeking an annulment of my former marriage in the church, with the consequence of having my present “civil” marriage, con-validated in the church.
From the point of view of the Code of Canon Law (#874.4) a sponsor for either baptism or confirmation must not labor under a canonical penalty.