MERGED: Confirmation valid?

I was recently confirmed by my parish priest. I was surprised that the Bishop did not perform the rite as I was already Baptized and made my Holy Communion (many years ago). Is my Confirmation valid?

I was Baptized Catholic in 1951 and Holy Communion in 1961…

I have asked this question before but I cannot find the answer! ::confused:

This is a question for your priest.

Bishops can give priests the faculty to confirm. So, perhaps your priest completed the paperwork necessary in order to receive permission to confirm you.

the only thing else is what are the circumstances, like was it a rural parish that a bishop cannot easily get to…

In many cases like this, the priest can petition the Bishop for a “mandate”.

This is quite common for people in your situation. It is simply the Bishop giving authorization to the parish priest to perform the confirmation.

Mandates are very common for people who have been baptized Catholic, but never catechized, and then decide to formally join the Church and have attended RCIA.

Since many Bishops travel their diocese doing confirmations for the children, meetings, etc. etc.,there is no way they can perform each individual confirmation of adults throughout their diocese.

I am sure this is what happened, but you can always check with your priest.

Many bishops have granted priests the faculties to confirm adults received into the Church. This is routinely done at the Easter Vigil, but often the faculties are given for the rest of the year, as well. The chrism used to confirm was blessed by the bishop at the Chrism Mass.

not sure what the question is. yes the bishop may delegate authority to confirm to the parish priest, who must use it for the person(s) in whose sake the delegation was made, or to another priest for good reason. It is done here simply because of the number of parishes. In any given year 10-15 parishes will have a priest, usually the vicar general, chancellor or one of the deans, come to the parish to confirm youth. The bishop reserves confirmation of adults to himself in one diocesan celebration. Each bishop may do what works best for his diocese. Yes of course your confirmation is valid.

this does not apply to OP who is already Catholic

Technically, one is fully Catholic only after receiving all three Sacraments (Baptism, 1st Holy Communion, and Confirmation).

Thank you all for your answers!

However, I failed to mention one very important detail … so sorry.

When I was 14 years old, merely three years after my HOly Communion, my parents (mother ex-communicated cradle Catholic and dad Presbyterian) decided that being Episcopalian would allow the whole family to go to church together. So, in 1964, three years after my Catholic Holy Communion, (and, may I add after my Italian Catholic grandmother passed away who would’ve have turned in her grave), my mother and father and 3 of their 5 children became Episcopalian…receiving the sacrament of Baptism, Holy Communion and Confirmation. My two older siblings remained Catholic (one became a Trappist monk). This probably adds a “tiny” detail…I believe my priest felt my circumstances were different from the rest of the class as I was raised in a very strong Catholic family and with my mother’s ex-communication, she wanted to receive the Eucharist and my father was “angry” that the Catholic church would not re-instate her…by the way, I was a little puzzled by that too. As a child who knew my mother SO loved her church, it didn’t make sense to me and started 40 years of confusion for me. GOOD NEWS IS I FOUND MY WAY BACK THANKS TO THE PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH !

My husband and I actually saw St. John Paul ii in Rome the Sunday he placed the bullet fragment onto Mary of Fatima’s image and at that time, I wasn’t even considering a return to the church, but alas, John Paul ii looked right at me so that was that!!!

My mother carried her Rosary to the end of her life and after my father passed away, she returned to the Church. So you see, I didn’t exactly give the whole story…sorry…I just feel self-involved writing alot of details but in this case, it is necessary.

Sorry about that, but this may offer IMPORTANT information regarding my OP. :slight_smile:

The Bishop is the ordinary minister of Confirmation in the Latin Rite. However there are exceptions to be made:
If the candidate form confirmation is in danger of death, it can be administered by a Priest.
For adults, the parish priest is the minister (although this varies from diocese to diocese).
Also, keep in mind that the minister of a Sacrament deals with the form of the sacrament (which is mutable) and not the matter (which is immutable).

A) You are incorrect. One is fully Catholic the moment one is baptized into the Catholic Church.

B) Puzzleannie is correct regarding the faculties to confirm. The faculties to confirm given to priests for candidates and catechumens does not extend to those baptized Catholic. That requires separate permission for that specific person.

None of those details are important to whether or not the priest has faculties to confirm a person baptized a Catholic. He does not. But, he can easily receive them from the bishop.

You were different from the rest of the class in that you were already a Catholic. The priest must follow canon law on the matter and receive permission from the bishop to confirm you. I’m sure he did, but if you are worried about it, just ask him.

I was taught differently. FULLY Catholic requires all 3 Sacraments. Baptism confers immediate membership into the Body of Christ, certainly, but that is different from being FULLY Catholic.

You were taught incorrectly.

Can. 11 Merely ecclesiastical laws bind those who have been baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it, possess the efficient use of reason, and, unless the law expressly provides otherwise, have completed seven years of age.

Can. 12 §1. Universal laws bind everywhere all those for whom they were issued.

Can. 204 §1. The Christian faithful are those who, inasmuch as they have been incorporated in Christ through baptism, have been constituted as the people of God.

§2. This Church, constituted and organized in this world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church governed by the successor of Peter and the bishops in communion with him.

Can. 205 Those baptized are fully in the communion of the Catholic Church on this earth who are joined with Christ in its visible structure

Can. 879 The sacrament of confirmation strengthens the baptized and obliges them more firmly to be witnesses of Christ by word and deed and to spread and defend the faith.

You are correct that the Eucharist and Confirmation strengthen our bond with Christ and complete the Sacraments of Initiation.

You are not correct that until one receives these other two sacraments a person is not fully Catholic. Catholics, by virtue of our Catholic baptism, are bound by Canon Law. For those baptized in non-Catholic communities, they become Catholic when they make their profession of faith. They OP was baptized Catholic. Therefore, the OP is a Catholic for matters of completion of their other Sacraments. They are not the same as a candidate or catechumen.

Hello Violetta30,

This information might make a difference. There is an obscure decision from “the Vatican” back in 1979 that said pastors could confirm those adults who were baptized Catholic but then, through no fault of their own, had been instructed in a non-Catholic religion or had adhered to a non-Catholic religion. Perhaps you fall into that category.

There are several ways for a pastor to have the faculty to confirm. As others have said, to get a sure answer you’d have to ask the priest why/how he (thought he) had the faculty. We here can only guess, presume, suppose, assume, etc.


  1. What is “recently”? The pastor can confirm you at the Easter Vigil.

  2. While the Bishop is the ordinary minister of confirmation, he can delegate it to a priest. Some bishops do it routinely, others do it rarely. Depends on the bishop and the situation.

  3. Were you confirmed by yourself or with a group of other people?

There may be semantic differences with the word “full”, for a baptized person without 1st Holy Communion or Confirmation cannot be a godparent, cannot licitly be married in the Church, cannot receive holy orders, and cannot take a religious vow. Are they “fully” Catholic? Not in the sense that all the vocations are as yet available. Are they in full communion with the Catholic Church? Yes, as members of the Body of Christ (which includes non-Catholics and even non-Christians).

In our diocese the Pastor must submit a list of those he will be Confirming before the Confirmation. This is very common at the Easter Vigil. This year for the Confirmation of our “regular” Confirmation class (8th graders) our Pastor was allowed to Confirm them as well. In our Diocese the Bishop celebrates half to 2/3rds of the Confirmations. The others are presided by our Vicar General/Chancelor, our Bishop emeritus, or the Abbot from a near-by Abby. Our Bishop emeritus was going to do our two Confirmation but not too long before the ‘big day’ he was asked by his Dr to slow down a little, so he was only going to celebrate one Mass. Thusly, our Pastor was allowed to step-in.

Not strictly true about marriage, Stylites, as I was married without being confirmed.

It was understood that I would seek confirmation as soon as I completed moving into a permanent house/parish, though.

I was taught that many priests unfortunately do not require Confirmation before witnessing a marriage, but that they ought to, hence the term ‘licit’ in the sense of proper rather than canonically-legal. Sorry for my poor choice in words.

Confirmation is not required for the validity of the marriage. The issue of licitity is a very technical canonical questoin. I’d be wary of using the word illict where the canons do not.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit