This is in regards to someone not raised in the Catholic Church.
If a persons baptism as an infant is recognized by the Catholic Church (though not done in the CC), then as and adult can they go to confession and then take communion?
Or is it absolutely required that they go through RCIA and are confirmed before taking part in the other sacraments, particularly reconciliation (confession) and holy communion?
The Catholic Church has “closed Communion” (as printed on the covers or immediate inside pages of most missals). This means the Catholic Church does not offer Eucharist to non-Catholics, with a few very specific extraoidnary exceptions (none of which would usually apply).
This means that a person who has not been received into full communion with the Catholic Church (which, for an adult, would mean Confirmed) may not partake in Catholic Communion (it is called “communion” for a reason).
However, an adult, Baptized non-Catholic who wishes to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church is not strictly required to go through RCIA. The Church allows a streamlined process for candidates who are sufficiently disposed (in the opinion of the Pastor), whereby the candidate may attend private instruction by the Pastor or his delegate, and be admitted to full communion in a shorter timeframe. This is completely legitimate and authorized by Canon Law, although the application of this rule is entirely at each Pastor’s discretion. Incidentally, my wife and I were both received into the Church in this manner. In my experience, it might help if you were very conversant with Ludwig Ott.
But there are many Catholics who, while having received first communion at a young age, still have not been confirmed even as adults.
Is the big difference here that they were baptized in the CC and others (converts) weren’t, however legit the CC views those baptisms done outside the CC?
Confirmation is a sacrament of the Catholic Church. Why is it acceptable for one unconfirmed person to take communion and not the other, even though both have the legitimately recognized mark of baptism on their soul?
Why is confirmation absolutely required for one and not the other when both have been baptized? Is it simply a matter of their being sufficiently instructed in the teachings of the CC beforehand?
Yes, because one has been ‘catechized’ and the church sees them as knowing what the Eucharist is. The other may or may not know what the Eucharist really is. The bible tells us that someone who takes the Eucharist unworthily will bring condemnation and judgment on themselves, being guilty of the body and blood of Christ. The church does not take the Eucharist lightly so wants all people who come to the table of the Lord to ‘know’ what they are doing.
That is what RCIA is about. It is a time for the candidate to learn what being Catholic really means, and what they are undertaking before coming to the table. That it’s not just a cracker that anyone can go up and eat, but the body and blood of the Lord.
I also challenge that a person who is not confirmed, SHOULD be confirmed. Catholic or not. They don’t have to be, but there are certain graces that they receive from confirmation that are important.
Okay, that is as I understand it as well. That the person taking part in holy communion with the Lord need know exactly what that most holy sacrament really is and what it is that they are actually doing by participating in it. That understanding is what is necessary (as well as baptism and reconciliation/confession, of course).
While it is certainly not my place to judge anyone taking part in holy communion, it is my understanding that a great many of those who do take part actually do not understand what they are truly doing; not believing in the real presence, consuming the body and blood of Christ in a state of mortal sin when they know that to do so is wrong, etc… and are actually eating/drinking judgment upon themselves. Many of these people have been “Catholic” all their lives yet have such little regard for the body and blood of our Lord.
I agree that everyone should be confirmed, Catholics and converts alike. Confirmation is a sacrament of the Holy Catholic Church, like a personal Pentecost, and I very much look forward to my confirmation and would never give it up. It is so very important, and is based in the teachings of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
But technically, as I understand it, by having a very sufficient understanding and belief in the Eucharist, and greater understanding of it than even many Catholics, then I think that it would not be necessarily inappropriate (nor sinful) for me to confess my sins to a priest and then participate in holy communion, even before my own confirmation. I will not do so, of course, because I have made a promise not to, but it is true - all other conditions being met - that understanding (and of course believing in) the sacrament is what is really important in order to participate in it. And such understanding is what so many Catholics and catechumens/candidates/converts lack, unfortunately.
You would also be lacking in a formal profession of faith and a couple of Rites that are necessary to bring you into the Church that are taken care of through the RCIA process. It is not one-sided - part of the RCIA process includes the Church welcoming you as a whole.
It is hard to wait! Almost anguishing I’d bet,this statement coming from one of those “catholics” who has been catholic all their life. Maybe try this, knowing how hard it is to wait, meditate on our Blessed Virgin and what she must have gone through “waiting” for her Son to die on the cross. May God bless you, with innumerable Graces, as you wait in anticipation of being one with Him and His church. Welcome Home!!
One must become Catholic before receiving communion. This involves making a profession of faith, being received into the Church, and completing the sacraments of initiation by being confirmed and receiving communion. Prior to the Mass where these things happen, a baptized candidate also celebrates the sacrament of reconciliation.
I see the issue not so much as whether or not someone is confirmed, but whether they have become Catholic by professing their faith and being received into the Church. The sacraments follow that.
You do not need to be confirmed before receiving communion, but you do need to go either through RCIA or one on one instruction.
A priest gave me instruction and when he felt I was ready, I went to confession, then a week later, I was “received” into the Church through the traditional rite, which included exorcisms, a profession etc. From that time on, I became Catholic and was able to receive communion.
I will be confirmed this year.
It just so happens that RCIA programs usually do the baptism (if necessary) and communion all on the same day, but that is not always the case.
Children receive the sacraments of Catholic baptism, reconciliation then communion. Usually the sacrament of baptism is performed when they are infants and the other two sacraments when they are about 7 or 8 years old. Since the sacrament of confirmation doesn’t happen until they are in their teens, of course there are thousands of Catholic children receiving communion without the benefit of confirmation. In short, no, you don’t have to be confirmed to receive communion.
But you asked about a non-Catholic who is converting. In that case, the sacrament of baptism may have happened in another religion (accepted but not the same - you don’t need to be baptized twice). In that case, the candidate as an adult would receive the sacrament of confirmation to more fully enter the church. However, the process is still the same. You need the sacrament of reconciliation before you receive the sacrament of communion. It is my understanding the child converts who have been baptized in another religion would receive the sacraments of reconciliation and communion then wait for the sacrament of confirmation when they get older.
So the sacrament of confirmation has more to do with you AGE, not the sacrament of communion. I dare say, you might even be able to receive the sacrament of confirmation BEFORE you receive the sacraments of reconciliation or communion. However, of all these sacraments, it is baptism then reconciliation that seems to be most important to come before any of the others.
If your baptism is accepted by the CC then your next step is RCIA, which will get you confirmed into the church. One must be confirmed before receiving Eucharist. Unfortunately RCIA is a 8 month process unless a priest thinks you are ready to be confirmed before Easter.
I suggest you talk to your local priest. I’m sure they’ll be very happy that your interested.
Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist are the three sacraments of initiation in our church. While not done in that order for youngsters, at least in the US, it is the usual order for adults. Frankly, I’d like to see that original order restored for the younger Catholics, as well, but probably not in my lifetime.
I have gone to Catholic School my entire life. I was raised in a religion I do not remotely believe in. I have never been baptized at 40 (due to the faith I was raised in). My son goes to Catholic School also. I go to Mass every week. Even though I am not confirmed (WHICH I AM
AM WORKING ON) am I a Catholic as I have lived since 7th grade? I believe in my heart of hearts I am Catholic.
This is an old thread. We are not to resurrect old threads. You comments/questions are not even on the same topic. If you want to discuss whether you would considered a Catholic you should open a new thread.
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