I have a question regarding confirmation. I am currently in the US Navy out of San Diego, but go to a church that belongs to the Diocese of San Diego. Since I am in the Navy, I don’t belong to the Diocese here in San Diego, but the Diocese of the US Military. I am enrolled in RCIA through the military chapel here. After Mass at my local parish, I asked one of the priests about confirmation and told him about RCIA and how I would be accepted into the church at Easter Vigil in April. I asked him if it would be alright if I got confirmed at that parish.

He responded that it would be fine and he ever offered to give me a catechism class through the chapel. He said instead of being done in April, the class would be accelerated and would likely be finished by the end of December, at which point I would be confirmed into the Church. I asked the RCIA catachyst (sp?) about being confirmed in a church in the SD diocese even though I don’t belong to it and she said all I would need was a letter of dispensation from a chaplain in the military diocese saying I could be confirmed in my local parish. On the topic of taking the catechism class through the local parish and being done in December, is this acceptable? For me, the sooner I become accepted into the RCC, the better. However, at the same time, I don’t want to do anything that isn’t right or get a confirmation that isn’t valid.

Any thoughts? Thanks!

The fact that you are in the military is of no consequence here - the US Military is a diocese (actually an Archdiocese) just like any other diocese (canonically speaking) - you still have an Archbishop and an Auxiliary bishop. What you are asking is if a member of one diocese (Military or otherwise) may receive instruction and Confirmation in another diocese. The answer is “yes,” per the Code of Canon Law:

Can. 886 §1. A bishop in his diocese legitimately administers the sacrament of confirmation even to faithful who are not his subjects, unless their own ordinary expressly prohibits it.

So the Diocesan Bishop would probably just check with your Military Bishop (unless he has knowledge that Military Bishops are OK with this practice - and in San Diego, I’m pretty sure the Diocesan Bishop would be well acquainted with the expectations of Military Bishops). But, if necessary, this is a fairly routine matter and would be handled by the Chancery Office of both dioceses. The pastor of your Diocesean Parish would initiate these proceedings on your behalf, should they be necessary (but I highly doubt any special action would be necessary).

BTW, thank you for your service to your country!

Seems like too much red tape to get confirmed… _______________________________

If you think this, then I probably did not answer the question very well. Let me try again:

*]Canon Law says that a Bishop of one Diocese may Confirm someone from another Diocese, unless the Bishop of that Diocese expressly forbids it (the assumption is that he will allow it).
*]The Candidate is from the Diocese of the US Military. He seeks Confirmation from the Diocese of San Diego.
*]San Diego is the home of a Carrier Battle Group (the Carl Vinson Nimitz-Class carrier) - there are LOTS of military (it is the largest naval installation in the world, and the diocese includes many military bases, hospitals, etc). It is probably the most “military” area in the United States.
*]Thus, the Bishop of San Diego is certainly well-acquainted with the US Military Bishop and knows his policies. Even if he is not, all it takes is a phone call from one Chancery Office to another.
*]It is highly unlikely that the US Military Bishop “expressly forbids” Confirmation outside of his Diocese (which is rather large).
*]Thus, the possibility of ANY “red tape” is minuscule.


Military makes it an interesting situation… technically, by my understanding (and I hope someone will correct me if I’m wrong!) you’re a member of whatever parish whose boundaries you happen to live within. If you live off base then, you would technically belong to that local parish.

The Archdiocese of Military Services is something of a special case when it comes to parish/diocesan membership.

a simple phone call is not a lot of read tape, not compared to the Navy

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