Canon law obligations of minors?


#1

What are the obligations of a Catholic minor child who is living with non-Catholic parents? Supposing the parent is against the child observing or practicing their faith, how should a child handle such things?


#2

Pray the rosary daily; go to mass when he can; read the readings and make a spiritual communion when he can’t.


#3

The age of discretion (age 7) is a key moment when obligations begin. It may be very difficult to get to church and receive the sacraments without cooperation of the parents, especially if the parents prevent a godparent from helping. So the age of 7 to majority (age 18 or earlier emancipation) can be a difficult period if the faith is opposed. One can pray, and also read the bible and catechism if it is available.


#4

Is this a real case scenario, or hypothetical? I ask because it is the parents duty to bring their Catholic child up, well, Catholic. There are few priests who would baptize a child whose parents are against the faith. Unless they started out Catholic, and they are fallen away.


#5

The child may have to live the Faith secretly and accept the fact that he/she can’t go to Mass. They can be obedient to their parents as long as sin is not involved, but if they can’t get to Mass for example, because mom/dad won’t take them or let them go they are not that culpable. Once an adult however, it is no longer up to mom/dad.

I studied the Catholic Faith on my own by going to the library while at school. My family was not Catholic and did not practice any particular religious belief while I was growing up. I still offered my prayers to God for the salvation of souls, the conversion of my family and my own intentions. I studied other religions also, in an attempt to compare them to the Catholic Faith. I think God was guiding me the whole time.

So, I think a child is under God’s care if he.she is trying to live by the Faith even if the family forbids it. It does make it harder to hang on, but it is possible and God will provide the assistance that child needs.


#6

There is no obligation to pray the Rosary daily!


#7

Hypothetical. I grew up in a particularly virulently anti-catholic strain of protestantism, and I knew families there who had converted from catholicism, though I think all had young children when they converted who grew up following the new faith. It got me thinking though.

I studied Catholicism against my parents’ wishes, though I was an adult. It was quite a delicate balancing act - with everything going on it took several years to achieve enough financial independence that I could openly go against them without fearing homelessness and a lack of critical health care. I can’t imagine trying it younger.


#8

Gotcha.
If the parents are against Catholicism and the child could not participate in Mass without causing WWIII, then the obligation to attend Mass is not there for a child who can not do some things on their own - go to Mass, no car, etc.
I had something not exactly like this, but my parents are very ant-Catholic. Who I was living with, brought up by, was very Catholic. I had to wait a very long time before I could come into the Church. I could only do it when my parents were almost completely out of all decision making in my life and I would remain with my aunt.
I celebrated 30 years as a Catholic, btw. And yes, wars have been waged in our household over our religion. Looking back, I only know how to handle it - tenderly or not answer their questions which are meant as set-ups.


#9

I wasn’t saying anything in my post was necessary. I was giving advice on how to live faithfully when you’re family doesn’t want to allow it.


#10

Oh, I’m not saying that saying the rosary isn’t a good practice.

But read the thread title - it’s about Canon law obligations.


#11

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.