Confirmation in another faith

I have a question. There is a person in our RCIA program that was baptized and confirmed in the Methodist faith. Our pastor is going to accept his confirmation in the Methodist faith as valid and the only Sacrament that he will be receiving coming into the Church will be First Holy Communion.

Does anyone know if there is a provision in the Church that would allow this person’s confirmation in Methodism to be valid in the Catholic Church?

Thanks

The only Confirmation that the Church accepts are those of the Orthodox churches. A Methodist confirmation is not valid in the Catholic Church and the person needs to receive Confirmation before receiving the Eucharist, at the same time he is received into the Church.

Thanks,

Do you are anyone else know where this is found in writing?

Why, in the ritual book Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, of course! In the section on “reception of baptized Christians”, paragraph 481 states:

It is the office of the bishop to receive baptized Christians into the full communion of the Catholic Church. But a priest to whom the bishop entrusts the celebration of the rite has the faculty of confirming the candidate within the rite of reception, unless the person received has already been validly confirmed.

Canon law tells us about valid confirmation:

Can. 882 The ordinary minister of confirmation is a bishop; a presbyter provided with this faculty in virtue of universal law or the special grant of the competent authority also confers this sacrament validly.

Can. 883 The following possess the faculty of administering confirmation by the law itself:

1/ within the boundaries of their jurisdiction, those who are equivalent in law to a diocesan bishop;

2/ as regards the person in question, the presbyter who by virtue of office or mandate of the diocesan bishop baptizes one who is no longer an infant or admits one already baptized into the full communion of the Catholic Church;

3/ as regards those who are in danger of death, the pastor or indeed any presbyter.

Can. 884 §1. The diocesan bishop is to administer confirmation personally or is to take care that another bishop administers it. If necessity requires it, he can grant the faculty to one or more specific presbyters, who are to administer this sacrament.

So, for those who were “born and baptized in a separated ecclesial Community” (RCIA, #473), confirmation is necessary unless they’ve already been validly confirmed. That confirmation would have to have been performed by a valid bishop (or his designate). A Methodist minister is neither of these.

(Edited to add: Please be gentle with your pastor, ok? Don’t just run to him, waving a printout in your hands and demanding he follow the rules of the Church. Fair enough? ;))

I have a question. There is a person in our RCIA program that was baptized and confirmed in the Methodist faith. Our pastor is going to accept his confirmation in the Methodist faith as valid and the only Sacrament that he will be receiving coming into the Church will be First Holy Communion.

Does anyone know if there is a provision in the Church that would allow this person’s confirmation in Methodism to be valid in the Catholic Church?

Thanks

From what the pastor has indicated, he sees no need to confirm this candidate since he was confirmed in the Methodist tradition. I wasn’t sure this was right.
This is a pastor that you really can’t question, so I am not going there, but I wanted to know that what I thought I knew about this was correct.

Yes, at the Easter Vigil this year I was confirmed alongside a Lutheran candidate before being received into the Catholic Church - we had both been previously confirmed in our own denominations. I was from the CofE.

Your priest will do whatever your priest does, but your fellow RCIA member will be missing out on what only the Bishop can grant in confirmation, the indelible mark of confirmation and the fullness of the Holy Spirit granted by the bishop. Your friend is the one who is missing out on what you will be receiving from the Bishop. These gifts are real, substantial, not just ideas, that infuse the soul of the person confirmed and mark him. You will be marked, but not your friend.

Never heard of such a thing…awaiting answers.

Before anyone starts throwing Canon Law and the other rule book at you, and before they tell you that you should run to the Bishop and tell him, talk to your pastor personally and present your concerns…it is likely there is just a misunderstanding on what you have heard.

Peace and all good!

This was something I heard when I was at the RCIA meeting along with another person that is coming into the Church and the RCIA director. We are a small parish. He said that this person can be received into the Church before the Easter Vigil because he was previously baptized. At the Easter the pastor will be the one who will baptize, confirm and give first Holy Communion to the other person. He also said he would be the one to confirm the one in question, however, he does not feel that he needs confirmation as he was already confirmed in the Methodist faith. The only Sacrament he intends to give him is
First Holy Communion. I was sitting right there when he explained this. I am a confirmed Catholic myself, 57 years and counting. Unfortunately, he is not a pastor that you can talk to without him going on the defensive and it winding up accomplishing nothing except hard feelings.

I’m not Catholic but have I not read on here that as long as the baptism was done in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit are recognized by the church? I thought I read that some people have been baptized conditionally because there was some thought that it had been not done in the name of the Trinity.

Baptism is not the question here. The person’s baptism is valid although done in the Methodist faith. The Catholic Church recognizes this. The question is Confirmation, on of the three Sacraments that a person receives as part of coming into the Church.

Oh my goodness! I totally read that wrong! I apologize…definitely an early “senior” moment!

No problem, I have had quite a few recently myself.:slight_smile:

The other posters are right about a Methodist confirmation not being valid. The candidate may have to take this up with the bishop to get satisfaction if the priest doesn’t back down. I really wonder how a priest could think he is correct in this. I wonder how many others in his parish have been denied this sacrament.

Recognizing the baptism from another Christian denomination is normal. I agree that accepting the confirmation seems strange but I don’t think the person in RCIA should notify the bishop about it. There might be some things the person doesn’t know and by notifying the bishop it could cause unnecessary problems.

Sometimes it is better to mind one’s own business and leave it to God to sort out.

First off, I am going to agree 100% with what you posted. Completely agree.
Talk to the pastor first. Understand the situation.
Be certain that this is not a misunderstanding.

Having said that, though, what the Methodists call “confirmation” that is not a valid sacrament. No priest can accept it as a valid sacrament. The priest has a responsibility to Confirm someone in that situation or at least to present the person to the bishop for Confirmation. To omit Confirmation completely is a violation of the person’s right to the Sacrament. When someone’s rights have been violated, appealing to the bishop is exactly the proper procedure.

Especially if it is a priest who gets defensive and you can’t tell him anything.

However it might be possible to press upon the priest, and even though he thinks it is unnecessary, he will do the confirmation just because the candidate asks for it. If the candidate tells Father that the Methodist confirmation is different, and would like to do it at Easter, maybe Father will concede, even if he (erroneously) thinks it is not necessary.

Yes. Maybe. However, the candidate should not be in a position to have to ask in the first place.

At the same time though, this is quite possibly a symptom of a larger problem. How many other Catholics have been (or will be) denied the Sacrament of Confirmation because the priest is in error? I’m not saying that I know exactly what’s happening in the OP’s situation. Instead I’m addressing this from a broader perspective, knowing that there are other priests out there who do deny the previously-baptized the Sacrament of Confirmation.

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