RCIA issue. Thoughts?

My parish is including baptized candidates of which I am one, in the Scrutinies. It is my understanding that the Scrutinies are for catechumens only. I am more than a bit upset about this. Do other parishes do this anywhere?
I already have been struggling with the RCIA process because of an anxiety disorder which they know about and now this. I am ready to pull out and start over at a different parish. :cry:

I am a baptized Christian and I have to do the scrutinies at my parish. You should be facing the priest and altar and not the congregation if that helps your anxiety.

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I have BAD anxiety disorder, I mean really really bad, to where I will start crying if too many people even get close to me or if I am in front of a lot of people…
But since I started RCIA, I have noticed that I say the Rosary 4-5 times a day I have calmed down some what… I still get nervous but not as bad…

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The Blessed Mother is always a calming influence. When I get stressed or nervous, just praying a few Hail Mary’s always calms me down.


Yes and no (but mostly ‘yes’).

At the point that the Scrutinies are celebrated, the catechumens have participated in the “Rite of Election”, and are at that point called “the Elect.”

It is the Elect who participate in the Scrutinies; Candidates for confirmation and those who were validly baptized in non-Catholic Christian communities and are awaiting their Full Reception into Communion with the Church do not.

Here’s the thing, though: RCIA teams can be unaware of the distinction between these groups, and just lump them in together. Priests might or might not be paying close attention to what’s going on in the RCIA program (and some of them, even if they’re paying attention, might not be as aware of the differences as they could be.)

Have you talked to your RCIA leader about this? If they aren’t aware of the distinction and are asking you to go through this, have you talked to your pastor?

After all, RCIA isn’t meant to be hazing. It’s meant to be a positive experience of entering into the Church. I’d hope that your pastor would – once he knows about your anxieties – make special arrangements to make your experience a positive one.

I’ll be praying for you!


It helps more then some realize, I noticed that some Catholics I know do not even say the Rosary.
I do if I am in car and it is time to say it, I say it :slight_smile: I have panic attacks even in a car
I say it at 9 am,noon,3,6, and 9 pm.
Some times I sleep in and do not say it at 9 am but I still pray morning Prayer, also Pray noon,and night.

You are correct. The scrutinies are specifically for the unbaptized.

You should not be made to participate. Tell your RCIA director you will not be participating in the scrutinies.

You need not do that. You can still be confirmed at this parish.


The Breviary evening prayer can be helpful. I also have a Rosary app that you can pray along with. The Catholic church is rich with devotions. Or just say, “Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

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Never did the scrutinies. Wasn’t sure if I had been baptized or not (at the ripe old age of 40, I was “too old” for the records at the Methodist church of my youth to cover the event). Got conditionally baptized.

Seriously though, it doesn’t appear to be that nasty a thing. At my church, the priest literally spoon feeds the response.

Perhaps the best thing you could do for your anxiety is to stand up and go through with it. Running away from things doesn’t help. As a person who has been diagnosed with GAD, there’s always something that will trigger anxiety. It’s not like the congregation is going to throw rotten tomatoes at you… they have access to far more capable things such as missals and hardbound hymnals :slight_smile:

Not sure what in the RCIA process would trigger anxiety.

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Those Rosary apps are great aren’t they :slight_smile:
also here is link to do it online

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What is helping me is saying the Rosary, you can download an app or go here

It is my understanding Candidates have their own rite called the “Penitential Rite”. Last week at my parish all the Candidates underwent the Penitential Rite. Starting this week the Elect will undergo the scrutinies.

Furthermore, Candidates usually will partake in the sacrament of confession just before being received into full communion with the Church.

The Elect do not partake in confession as all their sins will be washed away by their baptism during the Easter Vigil.


Apps help me with prayers for sure. I drift. Big time.

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The following is not medical advice. It is personal advice. In addition to 31 years as an emergency first responder, I deal with anxious persons daily on various cancer forums. My advice is, if you are diagnosed, or if you suspect you suffer from some form of anxiety disorder, please make an appointment with doctor to address the issue. Anxiety will not leave you alone and steals your peace.

You are far from alone! 64 million Americans suffer from some form of anxiety. That is one in five, or 20% of the population. It is 100% treatable and you most likely will not need any drugs to deal with it! Please look into it, as it seems to be affecting your faith life and that cannot be a good thing.


Hmmm… never did that one either. Did I miss something?

Doesn’t surprise me that the number is so high. Life can be stressful. But, in all seriousness running away from something, such as the parish, because of anxiety doesn’t help, and only feeds the anxiety.

Relating this to the thread, we live in the culture with the best medical attention, most communication, longest life-span and greatest anxiety in human history. What an utter dichotomy.

Fortunately, there are many therapists, such as Catholic Dr. Gregory Popcak who address anxiety disorder via Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - the gold standard in anxiety treatment. Drug-free, it teaches an “unlearning” of anxious thought patterns and the learning of healthy, peace-generating thoughts.


I take my anxiety out on ground vermin :slight_smile: My .17HMR hungers. It has been a long winter. It says it’s lonely, perhaps I should get it a sibling, maybe in .204Ruger.

In all seriousness, CBT seems to be good stuff. Medication can only do so much, and they you get dependency issues with it, and tolerance problems.

Ultimately, it becomes a question of choice: do you allow it to rule you, or do you rule it?

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My anxiety disorder is bad at this time but unfortunately I do not have medical insurance since being laid off from my job 3 weeks ago. I don’t have money for treatment.

My parish combines catechumens and candidates together for RCIA. Together, they go through the Rite of Sending, distinction is made at Rite of Election, and all go through the Scrutinies.

My personal experience was that I was a candidate and went through the entire RCIA process, It wasn’t until after that I discovered I technically did not need to go through RCIA, Scrutinies. That said, I wouldn’t go back and change it. I loved RCIA and learned so much.

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