Confirmation Question

My confirmation was done by a priest (Msgr. don’t know his name), the parish belongs to the Diocese of Charlotte but the priests are Vincentians Fathers. Why didn’t the bishop come and do it?

Do you mean you alone received Confirmation or were you in a group which received the Sacrament?


If it was a small confirmation class or a smaller parish your priest may have recieved permission to give confirmation himself. Dioceses are very large, and so it can be difficult for smaller parishes to arrange for the transportation of the Bishop as well as him trying to fit it on his schedule.

Certainly at Easter Vigil, the time of year when most converts are received into the Church, it’s normal practice for the priests who are baptising the converts to also confirm those who are receiving that sacrament as well. As has been explained, Bishops can’t be everywhere, there are times when they do (as they can) authorise a priest or Monsignor to confirm.

You’d have to ask the Bishop himself but priests can be commissioned by the Bishop to minister the Sacrament of Confirmation

Our priest did our confirmation. I’m sure that, as it was Easter Vigil, the Bishop couldn’t possibly be at every church confirming every new Catholic.

My husband and I were confrmed in August a few years ago and actually have the letter from the Archbishop granting our Msgr dispensation. It is my understanding that all Priests are granted dispensation during Easter vigil but it must be requested at other times during the year.

A priest can confirm according to universal law (Can. 882):

*]If he is in law equivalent to a diocesan Bishop (Can. 883 1°)

]When he baptises an adult (Can. 883 2°)

*]When he receives a baptised Christian in to full communion with the Catholic Church (Can. 883 2°)

*]He may confirm those in danger of death (Can. 883 3°)
Otherwise he can confirm if he has been given the faculty to do so by way of a special grant (Cann. 882, 884 §1)

*This presumably covers the situation at the Paschal Vigil

because presumably the priest was given permission to confirm you and the others who were confirmed with you because the bishop and pastor concluded it was pastorally necessary. How many parishes in the Charlotte Diocese? Is your bishop able to visit all of them to confirm? Ours would have to do 2–3 parishes or missions each week, with travel an impossible task. he does his best but about a third of the parishes have the priests who are deans or diocesan officers confirm.

In our diocese the priest has automatic permission to confirm catechumens [those who have not been previously been baptized] and candidates [those who were baptized in other Christian Communities] at the Easter Vigil. We also have some adults and adolescents who were baptized Catholic but have not received First Communion. For these we must get specific permission from the bishop, which is always given. Adults who have received First Communion but have not been Confirmed are brought through a different program and Confirmed by the pastor at Pentecost. Again, specific permission is required, and given.

Thanks for the clarification Joe. We were baptized Catholcs but we needed confirmation and communion as well as our marriage convalidated therefore, we needed the dispensation.

according to the RCIA the priest who baptizes adults at the Vigil must also confirm those people.

in this diocese the bishop reserves Confirmation of baptized CAtholics to himself, so it is not done at the vigil. There has in the past been one diocesan celebration, usually on Pentecost Sunday. Waiting to see what our new bishop does. Some parishes already include their adults with the youth when the bishop visits the parish, with persmission I assume. As stated, the bishop delegates faculty to confirm to certain priests, usually the deans and senior offices such as chancellor and vicar general, and those same priests assist with the adult confirmation since the numbers are so large.

there seems to be more flexibility in reception of baptized non-Catholics. Most parishes do it at the Vigil so the pastor confirms.

in addition the priest may be granted faculty to confirm (NOT a dispensation) in special cases such. A child in our parish firs communion class was recently confirmed and received first communion because she is facing serious surgery for a life-threatening illness. In these cases the priest must use the faculty for the person for whom it was granted, as it is very specific.

The Bishop cannot be everywhere at once so you had were confirmed by the priest that will be responsible for your religious life at your parish - see all a matter of perception. :smiley:

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