Allowed to receive sacrament Confirmation if not believe essential Catholic teaching


#1

It is getting close for me to recommend my candidates as acceptable candidates to receive the sacrament of Confirmation. What is the official teaching of the Church if a candidate disagrees with the Church teaching on any one of a variety of basic Church teachings? Can they receive Confirmation? I think not. But what is the actual practice?

For example,
contraception, abortion, euthanasia, homosexual unions (so-called "marriage"), divorce, pornography, Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Cloning etc.

By disagree, I mean the candidate actually states that they disagree with the Church'e teaching on one of these objectively evil teachings.

A little help please.


#2

Hmmm..

I'm not sure and I could be way off here, but I'll provide some of my thoughts and experiences...

I think a key difference is agreement vs obedience. If a person understands (believes) that the Church is the infallible creation of the Lord, then obedience on every subject would be a must. This, in my opinion, doesn't necessarily mean they'll agree on every topic simply because we are human and sometimes can't wrap our head around specific teachings. Regardless, we're still called to obedience. I don't think it's about being able to fully understand or have no doubts about any of the Church's teachings, but instead to understand the Lord's call of obedience to His Church...

Now, we must think about the essense of Confirmation. Confirmation is essentially saying, "Yes. I agree with (pledge obedience to) the teachings of the Church". If a person cannot truthfully say that statement...then maybe they should rethink what they're doing?

I work a lot with young teens going through Confirmation, so about age 13 to 14. Much to the horror of their parents, we stress and stress and stress what Confirmation truly is. This means that if they're not ready to truthfully pledge obedience and affirm the Catholic Church that they should rethink Confirmation and the reasons they are receiving the Sacrament.

So in the end, I would really examine some further details such as whether an individual plans to disobey the Church through this disagreement or whether they disagree but will still obey? That's just my thought process on this. I'm not trained in Church doctrine so I could be way off. Best wishes on this matter and I hope it works out.


#3

I would ask your pastor, but FYI the Catechism states:

1319 A candidate for Confirmation who has attained the age of reason must profess the faith, be in the state of grace, have the intention of receiving the sacrament, and be prepared to assume the role of disciple and witness to Christ, both within the ecclesial community and in temporal affairs.


#4

[quote="Ad_Orientem, post:3, topic:317019"]
I would ask your pastor, but FYI the Catechism states:

1319 A candidate for Confirmation who has attained the age of reason must profess the faith, be in the state of grace, have the intention of receiving the sacrament, and be prepared to assume the role of disciple and witness to Christ, both within the ecclesial community and in temporal affairs.

[/quote]

This.


#5

[quote="llenadegracia, post:2, topic:317019"]
Hmmm..

I'm not sure and I could be way off here, but I'll provide some of my thoughts and experiences...

I think a key difference is agreement vs obedience. If a person understands (believes) that the Church is the infallible creation of the Lord, then obedience on every subject would be a must. This, in my opinion, doesn't necessarily mean they'll agree on every topic simply because we are human and sometimes can't wrap our head around specific teachings. Regardless, we're still called to obedience. I don't think it's about being able to fully understand or have no doubts about any of the Church's teachings, but instead to understand the Lord's call of obedience to His Church...

Now, we must think about the essense of Confirmation. Confirmation is essentially saying, "Yes. I agree with (pledge obedience to) the teachings of the Church". If a person cannot truthfully say that statement...then maybe they should rethink what they're doing?

I work a lot with young teens going through Confirmation, so about age 13 to 14. Much to the horror of their parents, we stress and stress and stress what Confirmation truly is. This means that if they're not ready to truthfully pledge obedience and affirm the Catholic Church that they should rethink Confirmation and the reasons they are receiving the Sacrament.

So in the end, I would really examine some further details such as whether an individual plans to disobey the Church through this disagreement or whether they disagree but will still obey? That's just my thought process on this. I'm not trained in Church doctrine so I could be way off. Best wishes on this matter and I hope it works out.

[/quote]

It's 13 and 14 now? I was 10. I know a couple of yrs ago I attended a Catholic Confirmation Mass. At that one the candidates appeared to me to be more along the lines of maybe 15, 16. I can't help but wonder if children of these ages are even fully capable of digesting all it is they must conform and agree to for the rest of their lives. And truly knowing with certainty they will be able to do so into their early adulthood and beyond forever. Of course they were baptized into membership in the faith at an even earlier age. When in the case of infants, of course they were unable to comprehend even less of what they were getting into.


#6

Well, I can tell you from experience what I think as the RCIA candidate. :)

I was confirmed just last year at the age of 19. During RCIA, I threw a legendary fit about the contraception teaching. (Not an immature fit, but like an "ARE YOU SERIOUS" fit.) I know for sure that I will have and most likely will want a career for most of my life, so the idea of lots of kids didn't appeal to me. That, and the fact that everywhere I looked the proponents of NFP all had like 7 kids or something like that so I wasn't (and honestly still am not) convinced of its effectiveness. I am not going to say I got confirmed being completely defiant and having absolutely no intention of following the teaching, but I was pretty close to that point. I've come around a little bit since then, but I still constantly struggle all the time as I know I am not equipped with the personality to have kids running everywhere. But even though I still am very... unenthused, I guess you could say, with the birth control issue, I still love the Church and believe that it is an amazing gift to have in my life and just a wonderful way to live.

But point being, I would confirm this person if they show true devotion and willingness to obey in every other aspect of the faith. Believe me, if even I can come around a little bit on an issue like that, then this person can. I would talk to them more about the issue that they disagree with and work with them. You may be able to soften their heart, even if you do not see it. I don't think one issue is enough to deny them the sacrament unless they don't believe in Jesus or something. :D I'm sure there are so many good Catholics that don't agree/do not follow one teaching or so. I know many people on this site are very strict Catholics, but we need to show a little mercy on people who are coming into the Church. This is SO hard to take in and a little defiance or anger at the controversial teachings is normal. Patience is a virtue. Find out why they are so opposed to the teaching and be sensitive to their thoughts and feelings. Hopefully they will come around.


#7

[quote="Ad_Orientem, post:3, topic:317019"]
I would ask your pastor, but FYI the Catechism states:

1319 A candidate for Confirmation who has attained the age of reason must profess the faith, be in the state of grace, have the intention of receiving the sacrament, and be prepared to assume the role of disciple and witness to Christ, both within the ecclesial community and in temporal affairs.

[/quote]

By profess the faith, the Catechism is referring to the recitation of the Nicene Creed.

Of course, in professing the faith one puts oneself under the authority of the Church. Such "disagreement" must be followed by a firm commitment to assent to the teaching despite one's lack of belief.

This is not a question for the internet. This is a question for your pastor, who should have a one-on-one conversation with the candidate to understand what their issue is and if they can assent in good faith to the teachings of the Church.


#8

It is quite simple. If a candidate/catechumen strongly disagrees with a core Church teaching and refuses to assent to the truth despite their lack of understanding of it, they are not ready to receive the Sacraments and should not receive them until they have a change of heart.


#9

[quote="Cavaille-Coll, post:8, topic:317019"]
It is quite simple. If a candidate/catechumen strongly disagrees with a core Church teaching and refuses to assent to the truth despite their lack of understanding of it, they are not ready to receive the Sacraments and should not receive them until they have a change of heart.

[/quote]

Well put.

[quote="CMatt25, post:5, topic:317019"]
It's 13 and 14 now? I was 10. I know a couple of yrs ago I attended a Catholic Confirmation Mass. At that one the candidates appeared to me to be more along the lines of maybe 15, 16. I can't help but wonder if children of these ages are even fully capable of digesting all it is they must conform and agree to for the rest of their lives. And truly knowing with certainty they will be able to do so into their early adulthood and beyond forever. Of course they were baptized into membership in the faith at an even earlier age. When in the case of infants, of course they were unable to comprehend even less of what they were getting into.

[/quote]

It's usually done during 8th grade here in the Midwest at most parishes I'm familiar with, so age 13 to 14. I think it should be during the 9th grade year/sometime in high school because having a class Confirmation during the spring of 8th grade just seems like too much of a graduation from middle school. I don't know. I also think sometimes we'd be better off if we (at least in the parishes I'm familiar with) did away with this "let's have Confirmation for the entire 8th grade class now" mindset and switched to a "Confirmation when YOU choose (ideally during high school?" kind of mind. I don't know...I'm just not a fan of having it during 8th grade because again, it seems like a graduation from middle school.


#10

[quote="llenadegracia, post:9, topic:317019"]
Well put.

It's usually done during 8th grade here in the Midwest at most parishes I'm familiar with, so age 13 to 14. I think it should be during the 9th grade year/sometime in high school because having a class Confirmation during the spring of 8th grade just seems like too much of a graduation from middle school. I don't know. I also think sometimes we'd be better off if we (at least in the parishes I'm familiar with) did away with this "let's have Confirmation for the entire 8th grade class now" mindset and switched to a "Confirmation when YOU choose (ideally during high school?" kind of mind. I don't know...I'm just not a fan of having it during 8th grade because again, it seems like a graduation from middle school.

[/quote]

In the Anglican church, I did my classes when I was 13 or 14, but delayed confirmation until I was 17 which is when I and my parents thought I was ready.


#11

[quote="Ad_Orientem, post:3, topic:317019"]
I would ask your pastor, but FYI the Catechism states:

1319 A candidate for Confirmation who has attained the age of reason must profess the faith, be in the state of grace, have the intention of receiving the sacrament, and be prepared to assume the role of disciple and witness to Christ, both within the ecclesial community and in temporal affairs.

[/quote]

[quote="Cavaille-Coll, post:8, topic:317019"]
It is quite simple. If a candidate/catechumen strongly disagrees with a core Church teaching and refuses to assent to the truth despite their lack of understanding of it, they are not ready to receive the Sacraments and should not receive them until they have a change of heart.

[/quote]

^ These.


#12

[quote="llenadegracia, post:2, topic:317019"]
Hmmm..

I'm not sure and I could be way off here, but I'll provide some of my thoughts and experiences...

I think a key difference is agreement vs obedience. If a person understands (believes) that the Church is the infallible creation of the Lord, then obedience on every subject would be a must. This, in my opinion, doesn't necessarily mean they'll agree on every topic simply because we are human and sometimes can't wrap our head around specific teachings. Regardless, we're still called to obedience. I don't think it's about being able to fully understand or have no doubts about any of the Church's teachings, but instead to understand the Lord's call of obedience to His Church...

Now, we must think about the essense of Confirmation. Confirmation is essentially saying, "Yes. I agree with (pledge obedience to) the teachings of the Church". If a person cannot truthfully say that statement...then maybe they should rethink what they're doing?

I work a lot with young teens going through Confirmation, so about age 13 to 14. Much to the horror of their parents, we stress and stress and stress what Confirmation truly is. This means that if they're not ready to truthfully pledge obedience and affirm the Catholic Church that they should rethink Confirmation and the reasons they are receiving the Sacrament.

So in the end, I would really examine some further details such as whether an individual plans to disobey the Church through this disagreement or whether they disagree but will still obey? That's just my thought process on this. I'm not trained in Church doctrine so I could be way off. Best wishes on this matter and I hope it works out.

[/quote]

Congratulations! You stress the need for them to be ready for confirmation even against their parents wishes. I aölso help prepare candidates now for Confirmation. It is a matter of conscience though as to if >I should take part. Here and in most of Europe every one gets confirmed who seeks it and no intelligent effiort is made to see if they are even evangelised yet as individuals. this is very damaging to the church AS IT IS SACRILEDGE AND IS EFFECTIVELY LIEING ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO BECOME A cHRISTIAN: Excuse my typos. About 90% here are not sincere and do not intend what the sacrament intends. But the bishops do not have the courage to steward the sacraments well. It is very damaging and is a hindrance to potential sacerdotal vocations too. Please do all you can to protect tzhe sacramental signs.


#13

[quote="atassina, post:1, topic:317019"]
It is getting close for me to recommend my candidates as acceptable candidates to receive the sacrament of Confirmation. What is the official teaching of the Church if a candidate disagrees with the Church teaching on any one of a variety of basic Church teachings? Can they receive Confirmation? I think not. But what is the actual practice?

For example,
contraception, abortion, euthanasia, homosexual unions (so-called "marriage"), divorce, pornography, Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Cloning etc.

By disagree, I mean the candidate actually states that they disagree with the Church'e teaching on one of these objectively evil teachings.

A little help please.

[/quote]

The teaching is teally simple but often not implemented. The catechism states that candidates should want to be disciples and witnesses to Christ both inside and outside the Church.
Candidates must be evangelised first .this means that they must in their own words accept Christ as God and saviour and so as their Lord. In Europe no effort is made to intelligently assess individuialy readiness for Confirmation. This is sacriledge as it is so evident that large numbers are in no way fit according to Church teaching. This kind of failure in sacramental stewardship by our bishops is a cowardice but also a disobedience to church teaching. It is very damaging. It is effectively lieing sacramentaly about what it means to be a Christian.
It is a hindrance too to potential vocations. Please help us all to get our act together. We have a blind spot at the heart of the Church. An episcopal blind spot here too unfortunately.


#14

[quote="1ke, post:7, topic:317019"]
By profess the faith, the Catechism is referring to the recitation of the Nicene Creed.

Of course, in professing the faith one puts oneself under the authority of the Church. Such "disagreement" must be followed by a firm commitment to assent to the teaching despite one's lack of belief.

This is not a question for the internet. This is a question for your pastor, who should have a one-on-one conversation with the candidate to understand what their issue is and if they can assent in good faith to the teachings of the Church.

[/quote]

The most damaging practice in the Church is our widespread poor sacramental stewardship.
Very lage numbers are now being Confirmed who have not been evangelised. Very often with no sincere intention for the sacrament ior the new life it is to impart. They approach for the sacrament or even attend courses to prepare for social reasons only. Yet they are Confirmed anyway. No effort is made to intelligently determine as well as possible if each candidate is evangelised. this is effectively toile about what it means to be a Christian. The first and most urgent step towards a New Evangelism or any real reneway is for the episcopacy top deal with this sacriledge. But there is an episcopal blind spot here at the heart of the Church.
Our current catastrophic crises in the <church will go on longer the longer we fail to steward our sacraments authentically. Please help bring the Churches teachings on this matter to bear on our Bishops before more damage is done. We must protect the church. The devil hates Confirmation but he loves seeing the unevangelised receive it sacrilegiously.


#15

No matter how well a catechist tries to prepare a candidate, it is up to the pastor to decide whether to confirm a candidate if he/she does not assent to the teachings of the faith.

Unfortunately, there are too many lenient pastors who believe the "graces of the sacrament" will help the person "come around" some day. In my book this is perpetuating "cafeteria Catholicism", and it does not truly benefit the candidate or the Church.

The message received by the candidate, and subsequently by the candidate's family and friends and future children, is "it's okay to disagree in this area or that one, maybe it's also okay to disagree in other areas of the faith."

I think that too many pastors abuse their discretionary powers, and I wish that bishops would communicate with and monitor them to a greater degree, to hold priests accountable.


#16

[quote="quiet52, post:15, topic:317019"]
No matter how well a catechist tries to prepare a candidate, it is up to the pastor to decide whether to confirm a candidate if he/she does not assent to the teachings of the faith.

Unfortunately, there are too many lenient pastors who believe the "graces of the sacrament" will help the person "come around" some day. In my book this is perpetuating "cafeteria Catholicism", and it does not truly benefit the candidate or the Church.

The message received by the candidate, and subsequently by the candidate's family and friends and future children, is "it's okay to disagree in this area or that one, maybe it's also okay to disagree in other areas of the faith."

I think that too many pastors abuse their discretionary powers, and I wish that bishops would communicate with and monitor them to a greater degree, to hold priests accountable.

[/quote]

Yes and the tragic state of affairs is that Bishops are often opposed to any intelligent effort to assess on an individual level. One priest I know was in trouble because he asked candidates for Confirmation not to go forward if they were not sincere. Half did not go forward. Someone badly needs to hold our bishops to account in this area. We are damaging the Churches witness. We are lieing sacramentaly about what it means to be a Christian. Our sacramental Crises to be honest it is catastrophic. Good will come of it in the end but our decline will be far deeper the longer we delay in being authentic in how bishops steward Baptism and Confirmation. There is a blind spot here in the Episcopacy at the heart of the Church. Please help!
It is not my opinion. The Catechism and Summa theological are clear.


#17

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.