Was reading a little on the order of sacraments being restored. I had thought the order was a little out of whack currently, as why would you give communion to someone that had not confirmed their faith?
It is an Eastern Catholic Church, one among 20-ish churches that are in communion with Rome. We are the ‘other’ Catholics. Different canon law, different Liturgies, etc. Maronites will baptize AND confirm infants but first communion was forced to change in line with the Roman Church. I believe Byzantines have retained infant baptism.
Thanks for the list. I knew about Denver and Fargo since it was Archbishop Aquila that revised the order in both, but was unaware of the other 8. I knew there were others, but didn’t know which they were. Does anyone know if the other 8 were like Denver and Fargo where it was the same bishop that revise the order in different diocese?
Right. I was living in the diocese of Saginaw when they “restored” the order of the sacraments. I was in 11th grade, and was looking forward to my Confirmation. The parishes got word of the change around Lent in 1996. And so, everyone who was prepping for First Communion, and everyone who had completed First Communion yet had not yet been Confirmed, regardless of age, was to be Confirmed immediately. As such, my younger brother (who was finishing 8th grade at the time) and sister (who was finishing 4th grade) were Confirmed at the same time as me - with absolutely no preparation for the sacrament at all. Unfortunately, a sad consequence of “restoring” the order of the sacraments is that, as many parents - and children - consider Confirmation to be “graduating” from religious education courses, and so never grow in their faith beyond a 3rd grade knowledge of their faith (and yes, many kids don’t go to religious education classes after their First Communions anyway - sometimes only returning to go to Confirmation classes in High School). This is actually one of the biggest reasons why the New Evangelization is so necessary - we have too many people in our Church who have been sacramentalized but never really evangelized, and so are very vulnerable to falling away due to not knowing their own faith.
Excellent point. I hope there is some plan in place to continue these children/young adults in religious education for as you say for many once they receive the sacraments they can receive while young, they are never seen again.
You think kids are adults are not properly or sufficiently catechized now?
Go ahead, give them an out. Let them enroll their kids in formation for the requisite 2 years and then never see them again.
More parishes will close, and more parents of teens will lament that their kids are not at all interested in their faith.
We are not living in Biblical times. Everyone need more catechesis more than ever now.
Out of whack is relative.
I know that our Archdiocese will never go to restored order. Few people can afford formal, private, Catholic education. It’s up to the parishes. Let them do the work they are trained to do. Let them help families. Let them give kids the tools for life and forming a good conscience.
Having taught 2nd year confirmation classes to 10th - 12th graders, I can tell you the many still did not have much beyond a 2nd graders knowledge of the faith. We also had to try deprogramming all the secular crud that snuck in when they weren’t receiving religious education in the 3rd through 8th grades (statistically enrollment swells in the sacramental prep years). The sacraments have never been about imparting knowledge and we should never use them as a reward or hold them hostage. That simply reinforces the idea that confirmation is some type of graduation. The sacraments impart grace. Do you think the Holy Spirit skipped over those who hadn’t had enough school on the first Pentecost?
Look, deepening in our knowledge of the faith is a life long process. If someone has little to no desire to do so, it will not matter if they receive confirmation as a baby or at 7, 10, 15 or 50. There are dozens of testaments on these boards of people who spent 16 years in Catholic school and still have only a rudimentary understanding of the faith, so obviously being in religious education is not the end all and be all to deepening understanding of the faith.
You know that how? If Archbishop Aquila or another bishop that disagrees with you opinion is made your ordinary will you simply refuse?
Might it just be possible that a bishop under stands that the sacraments aren’t a reward for attending classes, but might… I don’t know… impart graces regardless of the receivers personal knowledge. This is the same line of reasoning some protestants use to reject infant baptism. Perhaps we should reject that too so that people are fully catechized into what baptism means first. I mean baptism is the most essential sacrament so perhaps it should be the first reward for getting edjumicated in the faith.
Our Archbishop has spoken publicly on this MANY times. He just got appointed to yet another committee with the USCB, and is a former President of same.
He believes in keeping kids in class, and doing Confirmation later, is the most effective way of doing it. We all know parents “would rather not”.
It is what it is.
Don’t really agree here. We still need to offer faith education after confirmation. Our parish has no regular faith formation classes or Bible study for adults. Some parish members have gone to other churches for Bible study (Lutheran or Baptist, etc.) because it was there (not many, a few).
The thing is you have to want it. Using a sacrament as leverage to show up for a class is not right, and if those in charge don’t see we need to inspire and educate, not pressure - there is not much chance of making disciples.
I see this already in reality, so no argument for me, just stating what is where I am.
First off, Confirmation is supposed to give graces that “seal” our Baptismal ones, as well as giving us the Holy Spirit’s charismatic gifts, and helping to protect us from demonic attacks.
So why would kids not need those before high school?
“Welp, kids, we could help protect you from demonic attack, or we could try to keep you in RE until 12th grade. We decided that you didn’t need to be safe from demonic attack. Enjoy being a big fat target for the next ten years!”
I know many Catholics who were brought up in ‘the system’ of Catholic schools who do not know and do not practice their faith. I blame their parents. Some well meaning parents were duped into believing the system would educate their children, hence the problem we have today. The system is no substitute for religious training. I would encourage parents to home educate their children. Where I live there is an ever growing Catholic homeschooling presence. They have opted out of secular schools.
All to say, the church bestows the sacraments and the parents teach the faith.
[quote=]Can. 1136 Parents have the most grave duty and the primary right to take care as best they can for the physical, social, cultural, moral, and religious education of their offspring.
The duties of parents
2221 The fecundity of conjugal love cannot be reduced solely to the procreation of children, but must extend to their moral education and their spiritual formation**. "The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute."29 The right and the duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable.30**
2222 Parents must regard their children as children of God and respect them as human persons. Showing themselves obedient to the will of the Father in heaven, they educate their children to fulfill God’s law.
2223 Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule. the home is well suited for education in the virtues. This requires an apprenticeship in self-denial, sound judgment, and self-mastery - the preconditions of all true freedom. Parents should teach their children to subordinate the "material and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual ones."31 Parents have a grave responsibility to give good example to their children. By knowing how to acknowledge their own failings to their children, parents will be better able to guide and correct them:
He who loves his son will not spare the rod… He who disciplines his son will profit by him.32
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.33
2224 The home is the natural environment for initiating a human being into solidarity and communal responsibilities. Parents should teach children to avoid the compromising and degrading influences which threaten human societies.
2225 Through the grace of the sacrament of marriage, parents receive the responsibility and privilege of evangelizing their children. Parents should initiate their children at an early age into the mysteries of the faith of which they are the “first heralds” for their children. They should associate them from their tenderest years with the life of the Church.34 A wholesome family life can foster interior dispositions that are a genuine preparation for a living faith and remain a support for it throughout one’s life.**
2226 Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child’s earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the Gospel. Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God.
No, no, no… I think you’re confussed. DRE have the first duty to raise children in the faith. Parents are simply to shut up and turn their kids over since they are not qualified. [/end sarcasm]
There are two people given direct authority to teach children I matters of the faith. Their parents and their bishop. A DRE’s authority is only through extention of their bishop. If their bishop wants to hold confirmation until right before death in order to give the greatest time for catechesis, then that is his perogative. At the same time a bishop that feels that education without graces is worthless and chose to confirm children early is well within their right to do so also.
My problem is people who categorically declare that confirmation at an age allowed by the Church is certain disaster. This is a slap in the face to all the Eastern Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and even kids that were received in the Latin Church via RCIA at 8-14.
My oldest was just one such kid. She attended 8 months of RCIA and maybe 8 months of parish RE. 13 years later at 21 she still attends mass, goes to confession, etc. We have friends that had their kids in Catholic schools for 12 years and all of them stopped going to Mass as soon as they entered college.
So obviously it was a disaster that my daughter was confirmed at 8 and those children with 12 years of professional RE are much better off. I mean, this is proof positive that being in classes is what passes on the faith. It has absolutely nothing to do with the kids parents.
Me for one, I am glad my 6 and 8 years olds are now in confirmation prep classes.