How come there was no RCIA back when Jesus was alive?


#1

so me and my wife (legally not sacramental) were eating and discussing, she is attending RCIA currently

but she was raised Non-denominational and that is what she knows, so we we were having a conversation about differences and what not and she asked me that Question

*How come there was no RCIA back when Jesus was alive? *

now, I didn't know exactly how to respond to this, and I said I would get back to her after trying to conjure up something about my limited (BUT GROWING) knowledge of the Church and its teachings

Thank you for your replies


#2

[quote="mab23, post:1, topic:293648"]
so me and my wife (legally not sacramental) were eating and discussing, she is attending RCIA currently

but she was raised Non-denominational and that is what she knows, so we we were having a conversation about differences and what not and she asked me that Question

*How come there was no RCIA back when Jesus was alive? *

now, I didn't know exactly how to respond to this, and I said I would get back to her after trying to conjure up something about my limited (BUT GROWING) knowledge of the Church and its teachings

Thank you for your replies

[/quote]

There is an RCIA when Jesus was alive. Last time I checked, he is alive today.


#3

This is a question that makes you scratch your head in disbelief.
RCIA is the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. It is the program that initiates adults and children into the Catholic Church.

Jesus instructed His Apostles. The Catholic Church birth was Pentacost that was after Jesus assended into heaven. There was an Initiation process into the early Church. It wasn't called RCIA but it did the same thing. :shrug:


#4

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:2, topic:293648"]
There is an RCIA when Jesus was alive. Last time I checked, he is alive today.

[/quote]

:thumbsup:;)


#5

Thank you

Adrift

:thankyou:


#6

[quote="adrift, post:3, topic:293648"]
This is a question that makes you scratch your head in disbelief.
RCIA is the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. It is the program that initiates adults and children into the Catholic Church.

Jesus instructed His Apostles. The Catholic Church birth was Pentacost that was after Jesus assended into heaven. There was an Initiation process into the early Church. It wasn't called RCIA but it did the same thing. :shrug:

[/quote]

True enough. The Catechumen "program" back then was much rigid and much longer than today's. Of, and non-Christians got dismissed from the church before the Liturgy of the Faithful or Liturgy of the Eucharist begins. And by dismissed I mean they are kicked out of the church (or home or catacomb).


#7

The Church has always had a period of instruction. First done by Christ and later the apostles, bishops and priests. As the majority of Europe became Christian the training and initiation of adults became less and less a factor. The basics of the faith were ingrained in society. I would say it's only in the last couple hundred years as society has become more secular and a reduction of religious teaching as a basic part of society that the need to reestablish a formal adult instruction has become a priority.

That being said it always bothers me when I hear about baptised adults who are funneled into RCIA. The C stands for Christian not Catholic. Adults that are well formed in Christian teachings merely need formation in the teachings of the Catholic Church as distinct from say Presbyterian teachings. By their baptism they are already initiated into the mystical body of Christ. Unfortunately very few places see the distinction between instructing a Methodist and a person who has not been baptised and has little or no training in Christian teachings. Now please help me down off my soap box.:D


#8

[quote="mab23, post:1, topic:293648"]
...
*How come there was no RCIA back when Jesus was alive? *
...

[/quote]

Jesus and his apostles were still developing what you were going to be initiated into. :)


#9

[quote="Usige, post:7, topic:293648"]
That being said it always bothers me when I hear about baptised adults who are funneled into RCIA. The C stands for Christian not Catholic. Adults that are well formed in Christian teachings merely need formation in the teachings of the Catholic Church as distinct from say Presbyterian teachings. By their baptism they are already initiated into the mystical body of Christ. Unfortunately very few places see the distinction between instructing a Methodist and a person who has not been baptised and has little or no training in Christian teachings. Now please help me down off my soap box.:D

[/quote]

That is my case. I'm presently in RCIA and I am validly baptized. I was searching for more understanding of my faith which brought me to the Catholic Church. I've found my RCIA classes to be very informative. Of note, I'm sure (at least in my parish they do) they distinguish beteween catechumens and candidates. It is that distinction that makes the difference.

So we may be "lumped together" but I believe it is necessary as the education is the same. And I'm okay with that! :thumbsup:


#10

[quote="loozcannon, post:9, topic:293648"]
That is my case. I'm presently in RCIA and I am validly baptized. I was searching for more understanding of my faith which brought me to the Catholic Church. I've found my RCIA classes to be very informative. Of note, I'm sure (at least in my parish they do) they distinguish beteween catechumens and candidates. It is that distinction that makes the difference.

So we may be "lumped together" but I believe it is necessary as the education is the same. And I'm okay with that! :thumbsup:

[/quote]

The problem is that the well-catechized Anglican, Methodist, or what have you, does not always need to be in a year-long process. Such a person might very well be ready to make a profession of faith within weeks of the initial contact. Many would already be quite familiar with Catholic theology and might require little formal instruction.

The R.C.I.A. is clear that such a person should be received as soon as they are ready and not made to wait. "The rite is so arranged that no greater burden than necessary (See Acts 15:28) is required for the establishment of communion and unity."2

  1. See Vatican Council II, Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis redintegratio, no. 18.

#11

[quote="Phemie, post:10, topic:293648"]
The problem is that the well-catechized Anglican, Methodist, or what have you, does not always need to be in a year-long process. Such a person might very well be ready to make a profession of faith within weeks of the initial contact. Many would already be quite familiar with Catholic theology and might require little formal instruction.

[/quote]

Such a person needs only as much time as he or she needs to be formed as a Catholic. The Protestants I meet in RCIA usually need to come to terms with a number of issues and it does take a little time. Things like the role of Mary, the role of the Pope, the precepts of the Church, Scripture and Tradition are all a little foreign. On the other hand, you don't have to spend a lot of time on concepts like the Trinity or prayer.

The rite itself has so much flexibility built in that it's wonderful. Unfortunately, stressed and stretched RCIA teams can't always take advantage of it.


#12

Well, for starters, the term Christian wasn't in the vocabulary.

That didn't come until later[BIBLEDRB]Acts 11:26[/BIBLEDRB]


#13

[quote="SuscipeMeDomine, post:11, topic:293648"]
Such a person needs only as much time as he or she needs to be formed as a Catholic. The Protestants I meet in RCIA usually need to come to terms with a number of issues and it does take a little time. Things like the role of Mary, the role of the Pope, the precepts of the Church, Scripture and Tradition are all a little foreign. On the other hand, you don't have to spend a lot of time on concepts like the Trinity or prayer.

The rite itself has so much flexibility built in that it's wonderful. Unfortunately, stressed and stretched RCIA teams can't always take advantage of it.

[/quote]

This was my experience. I had a very odd but wonderful experience in RCIA. I started late, but had been reading the CCC on my own for months, and once the priest was satisfied I was ready, he had me do my first confession and first communion a month before Easter vigil, when I was confirmed. Turns out I had been baptized Catholic as an infant. At the rites, the priest distinguished between what he was doing for the other candidates and catechumens and for me, so that all the witnesses understood why I was being treated differently in the rites. My husband however had to wait for Easter vigil to receive first communion.
He also took the time to explain to us during class and just prior to the rites, how similar what we were doing was to early church experience, as well as why there are some differences. RCIA did not have the same name, after all, English wasn't even spoken then. But the rites themselves came straight from the early church! :)


#14

[quote="Phemie, post:10, topic:293648"]
The problem is that the well-catechized Anglican, Methodist, or what have you, does not always need to be in a year-long process. Such a person might very well be ready to make a profession of faith within weeks of the initial contact. Many would already be quite familiar with Catholic theology and might require little formal instruction.

The R.C.I.A. is clear that such a person should be received as soon as they are ready and not made to wait. "The rite is so arranged that no greater burden than necessary (See Acts 15:28) is required for the establishment of communion and unity."2

  1. See Vatican Council II, Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis redintegratio, no. 18.

[/quote]

I completely agree... I wish RCIA programs were more personal, so that the ministers involved actually looked at each individual carefully, and determined just what was right for them. Most of my RCIA experience was at a large church, and there were over 50 people going through it. We were all pretty much just lumped together and treated equally... if you were a candidate, you got confirmed next Easter Vigil, regardless of where you were on your journey (unless you needed a longer time - they were always willing to make it longer, but never shorter! :p ).

Since it was determined that I would be conditionally baptized, I realized that I needed to go to confession before I was confirmed and given First Eucharist. So, I tried asking the RCIA director about it. She responded, "No, conditional baptism washes away all your sin." I knew she was wrong, and doing it her way would possibly have me receive sacraments in mortal sin if my first baptism *was/I} in fact valid, but how could I presume to correct the director? So I turned to my sponsor and spoke with him about it, and he approached the director and explained how she was mistaken. Afterwards, she came up to me and apologized, agreeing with me that I needed confession. But then she told me that her prayer for me was that "I would focus more on having a relationship with God, and less on legalistic matters." (not verbatim, but pretty much the same). Grrrr! So receiving my first Holy Communion sacrilegiously is not something I should be worried about in my relationship with God? :confused:

My wife and I ended up leaving that program because of how they were handling things. After a few more months went by, I spoke to a pastor who determined that we only needed to be put through a Confirmation class. We were both confirmed on the feast of Christ the King last year :extrahappy:*


#15

Ther wasn't much of anything back when Jesus was around, except his truth.


#16

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:2, topic:293648"]
There is an RCIA when Jesus was alive. Last time I checked, he is alive today.

[/quote]

Oh, how very clever you are. :rolleyes:


#17

RCIA is, in my experience, an American thing, at least insofar as the particular “programs” go, what with the set beginning times and what-not.

I am a convert, but neither my husband nor I went through “RCIA”, per se. It so happened that the first priest we spoke to about entering the Church was a visiting priest from the US, and he told us we needed to enter RCIA. But when I asked the pastor about it, our Church does not have an RCIA program. Instead, we spoke to the pastor, who quite nervously asked us about our marital situation. By this time we had been attending Mass for several months, and he knew us. But he had not asked for any details concerning our marital status. When we told him that neither of us had been married before, he visibly relaxed. He is a sweet Franciscan friar, past 80 years old, and his relief was obvious. Once that conversation was out of the way, he said that we could either study with him (which would entail 1.5 hours of commuting each way), or else with a priest at a parish nearer our house. Though that parish used a Japanese liturgy, the priest spoke English.

We studied with the priest near our house for a few weeks, and then we asked if he thought we were ready to enter the Church. He said yes. We had studied a lot in advance before starting to attend Mass in the first place. (I am the daughter of devout Protestants. They are missionaries, even, so converting was not something we did lightly. They have never really forgiven us, either.) So we were received into the Church in September, at a Vigil Mass. Our three daughters, none of whom had reached the age of seven, were all baptized then, too.

It worked for us, and I was very glad that they were willing to work with us, despite the lack of an official program. Still, it would be nice if there were so many people entering the Church that an RCIA class of 50 was necessary!


#18

[quote="Sillara, post:17, topic:293648"]
RCIA is, in my experience, an American thing, at least insofar as the particular "programs" go, what with the set beginning times and what-not.

I am a convert, but neither my husband nor I went through "RCIA", per se. It so happened that the first priest we spoke to about entering the Church was a visiting priest from the US, and he told us we needed to enter RCIA. But when I asked the pastor about it, our Church does not have an RCIA program. Instead, we spoke to the pastor, who quite nervously asked us about our marital situation. By this time we had been attending Mass for several months, and he knew us. But he had not asked for any details concerning our marital status. When we told him that neither of us had been married before, he visibly relaxed. He is a sweet Franciscan friar, past 80 years old, and his relief was obvious. Once that conversation was out of the way, he said that we could either study with him (which would entail 1.5 hours of commuting each way), or else with a priest at a parish nearer our house. Though that parish used a Japanese liturgy, the priest spoke English.

We studied with the priest near our house for a few weeks, and then we asked if he thought we were ready to enter the Church. He said yes. We had studied a lot in advance before starting to attend Mass in the first place. (I am the daughter of devout Protestants. They are missionaries, even, so converting was not something we did lightly. They have never really forgiven us, either.) So we were received into the Church in September, at a Vigil Mass. Our three daughters, none of whom had reached the age of seven, were all baptized then, too.

It worked for us, and I was very glad that they were willing to work with us, despite the lack of an official program. Still, it would be nice if there were so many people entering the Church that an RCIA class of 50 was necessary!

[/quote]

Praise the Lord that you and your husband found priests who were willing to work with you both personally, and who decided to bring you in when you were ready, not when it was convenient for them :) I think many RCIA programs here in the U.S. are implemented very poorly.


#19

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:2, topic:293648"]
There is an RCIA when Jesus was alive. Last time I checked, he is alive today.

[/quote]

Yep...does He still hold those bread and fish dinners down by the water?:)


#20

[quote="Phemie, post:10, topic:293648"]
The problem is that the well-catechized Anglican, Methodist, or what have you, does not always need to be in a year-long process. Such a person might very well be ready to make a profession of faith within weeks of the initial contact. Many would already be quite familiar with Catholic theology and might require little formal instruction.

The R.C.I.A. is clear that such a person should be received as soon as they are ready and not made to wait. "The rite is so arranged that no greater burden than necessary (See Acts 15:28) is required for the establishment of communion and unity."2

  1. See Vatican Council II, Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis redintegratio, no. 18.

[/quote]

You are correct! I now my parish did/does that. We just recently got a new pastor, so I don't know if he'll continue on that tradition.

In my case, my faith wasn't anywhere near Catholic, so I become a sponge in every class. :)


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.