Can Confirmation be invalid?


I have no idea what is in my heart at the time I was confirmed, I certainly didn’t have any notion of what it is to defend the faith with my life, but even in CCD I wasn’t sure I knew what I was supposed to be believing, because my parents just started speaking of religion out of nowhere at a later age, and stopped going to mass after a few years. I was Baptized and Confirmed on the same day.

My life since had been totally counter to “wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord”. I believe in Him now, and without that I know I have no future. Do I need to be reconfirmed? Do I need to abstain from the sacrament?


Your Confirmation’s validity doesn’t depend on you. If the Bishop (or the priest whom he designated in his place) intended to Confirm you, then you are validly Confirmed.

What you did with the gift afterwards doesn’t change its validity.

It’s great that you want to amend your life after a time away from the teachings of the Church. Your first step is to make a good Confession. This will restore the graces that you lost through neglect and sin.

Meditate on the story of the Prodigal Son - and

Welcome back! :slight_smile:


Thank you so much, I really hoped so. What a relief. I had been carrying on for awhile as if it was valid, but I have a long road ahead of me and in my stumbling began to question this matter. I feel like my life has only taught me that I can’t do anything worthwhile without God, and I feared a RCIA year without sacramental grace. I will be going to RCIA just to integrate, and I look forward to that tomorrow, but the question was burning me today. Thank you again.


I commend you, too, on your conviction to, um, ‘audit’ RCIA classes! I think that will be a healthy and joyous experience!



The Grace of Confirmation, as of the Sacraments are Ex Opere Operanto or conferred by the fact that the action is done whatever is the reason


Of course confirmation can be invalid. Just as marriage can be invalid. And many are indeed proven to be invalid by tribunals.


Many marriages are proven invalid because the sacrament is conferred by the spouses upon one another. Please give an example of when the sacrament of confirmation has been proven invalid when conferred by a valid bishop.


That is true. It is possible that a bishop be abducted on his way to the parish and replaced by his evil twin Skippy.

The likelihood of that happening is rather small as most bishops do not have evil twin brothers :p.

But the validity of the Sacrament depends on the Mater, Form and authority and intent of the minister. In the case of marriage, the minister is the couple themselves, so with bad catechesis, it is unfortunately too common for Catholics to have defects of Form or Intent

For a Confirmation, what would be required for invalidity is for the bishop himself to be so badly catechized that he does not have the Intent to confirm, or that the minister be invalidly ordained (or not ordained at all, like evil twin Skippy)

So it is HIGHLY unlikely that the Sacrament of Confirmation would be invalid.


I strongly suspect that men with evil twins are not eligible for episcopal ordination. They look into these things very carefully. :wink:


I agree with this, except I’m pretty sure the couple is the matter, not the minister. I’m almost positive the priest/bishop is still the minister.


Really? I’m not sure, but is it sufficient that the minister is “ok”? Isn’t also the right intention of the person recieving the sacrament required. I mean, it’s not possible to baptise or confirm an adult person against their will or without them knowing it.:confused:


No, the ministers of the Sacrament of Matrimony are the man and woman who are being married (which is why marriages without a priest can be valid in certain cases) - in the case of Catholics being married, the priest is a witness to the ceremony; not the minister. :slight_smile:


See the Catechism:

According to the Latin tradition, the spouses as ministers of Christ’s grace mutually confer upon each other the sacrament of Matrimony by expressing their consent before the Church. In the traditions of the Eastern Churches, the priests (bishops or presbyters) are witnesses to the mutual consent given by the spouses,124 but for the validity of the sacrament their blessing is also necessary.125


It would not be legal, which is why the Church requires a period of instruction prior to receiving these Sacraments - in the case of infant baptism, the parents take the class - but the Church tries to do everything possible so that no one receives any Sacrament without first knowing what it is, and wanting to receive it.


You have the fullness of the gifts conferred on the sacrament of confirmation, but you probably need some prayer, catechesis, and lots of use of the sacraments of confession and Eucharist, to open yourself up to the gifts. Learn the faith, pray, and make frequent use of the other sacraments! God bless!


Ah, thanks. I misheard at RCIA when we discussed matter, form, etc. I guess then.


The person has to give their consent, but this is different from the Ministerial Intent that is required for validity.

If the recipient is there and no one has a firearm pointed at their head during the process, that is generally sufficient consent.


I guess I agree with this. This subject came up during our catechist’s Confirmation meeting a couple of years ago. The reason it did is because some of the older teens were coming to class kicking and screaming with an “I don’t wanna attitude,” and we fully recognized the only reason they were there was parental insistence. We asked our RE Director who has a masters in theology what the implications were. She was unwilling to give an answer. But there is Ott’s “Fundamentals” which states “The necessity of intention on the part of the recipient is not, as is that of the minister, founded in the nature of the sacramental sign, but on a person’s right to freedom…(and) as the role of the recipient is receptive, a subjective habitual intention normally suffices.”

As one kid freely admitted, though, he wouldn’t attend Mass if not made to do so, and it did give a few of us pause for wonder!



One of the consequences of the Fall is that we have acquired a rebellious nature, and we have an aversion to doing things that are good for us, even when in and of themselves there is nothing at all offensive or difficult about the things that are good for us to do.

It is especially difficult for young people, who often can’t tell the difference between their own thoughts and those that come from a spirit of rebelliousness. Sometimes we just have to go ahead and do things for them that are good for them - such as sending them to school, putting out vegetables for them to eat, and bringing them to Church.


I don’t disagree. And believe the particular affects of this Sacrament’s grace will come into fullness as the Spirit directs - even at a later time.

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