Why do we not ask more questions before confirming youth?

Thinking back 15 years ago when I was in confirmation classes, at that age I just pretty much went with whatever the church said. I remember not fulling understanding everything, and also not knowing better at the time, to ask more contriversial questions. I didn’t realize that was the time to challenge myself and start thinking for myself. So it brings me to a few questions now that I’m older.

Do you think the church confirms at too young of an age?

Does anyone think we should be asking more forward questions? And, if one disagrees with any of the below questions, should we tell them they can not be part of the church?

Here are a few of those questions I think we should be asking -

Do you, or do you not support gay rights including gay marriage?

Do you, or do you not think women should be church leaders including women as priests?

Do you, or do you not favor artificial birth control?

Do you, or do you not think the bread and wine really becomes Jesus?

I think that in order to call yourself a true Catholic, this is what the church should be more demanding of in their teachings.

Which is as it should be at any age.

One never fully understand anything. Growing in your faith is a lifelong pursuit. Question asking is not limited to Confirmatin prep, nor is it the place to have all burning questions answered-- unless they are related to the Rite of Confirmation of course.

I’m not sure who told you that this was what you should be doing during Confirmation preparation.

No, in fact I think the Church confirms much too late. Thankfully several bishops have moved to restored order and are confirming at age 7.

Personally I believe even that is too late. I believe that the Latin Rite should baptize, confirm, and chrismate infants just as the Eastern Rite does.

Given the list of questions you ask, it seems you have a serious misunderstanding of Confirmation. Can you tell us what you think Confirmation is and what it does, sacramentally speaking?

One is Catholic by virtue of one’s baptism. The questions you list are certainly topics that should be covered in any Catholic upbringing, by parents and/or by educators. However, they are totall unrelated to Confirmation.

You might find it helpful to read what the Catechism has to say about confirmation. It’s available here: old.usccb.org/catechism/text/pt2sect2chpt1art2.shtml

I’m with 1ke that at the latest, children should be confirmed at 7 or 8, before they receive their First Communion. Waiting until they’re in their mid-teens distorts the nature of the sacrament.

I go even further and agree with 1kw and would also like to see a return to the ancient custom as used by many of the Eastern Churches and the Orthodox of the sacraments of Baptism, the Eucharist and Chrismation been conferred on children as infants. Although I accept this is not the discipline we are called to adhere to in the west at this time and that whilst we can hold the opinion I state above privately we must operate within the now existing disciplines. Although I for am most glad though that Pope Benedict is in favour of restoring the order of the sacraments whereby confimation precedes First Communion.

:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:: I agree. :):):slight_smile:

I agree with all of you that having confirmation immediately follow baptism makes sense and would be a good thing. But if we want to maintain the sacramental connection to the bishop – which certainly isn’t a bad thing – then confirmation should take place at the age of reason.

Then the responsibility for keeping kids in religious education would be strictly with the parents, as it should be.

Nothing is restored there. To restore, confirmation must be done on the same day as the person is baptized, ie. immediately after baptism, as you have stated after this. But given that there are years between baptism and confirmation, it is not really a restoration or any sort. At the very least, baptism and chrismation should go together. I would even say that if the Latin Rite wants to keep a “First Communion” tradition, they should at least commune the newly baptized at the Rite of Baptism, and then not commune again until the child is 7 or 8.

It isn’t solely the churches that need to teach this, but parents as well. To follow what the Church teaches, everyone in the Church needs to teach too. Parents need to be more proactive in teaching their kids what the Church teaches. I think this is where things are truly lacking. People are too quick to leave God and the Church on Sunday and live the rest of the week like anyone else. Parents are a child’s first teachers. Learning starts at home.

No to both questions.

But to your second question, I definitely don’t think anyone should try and turn someone away from the Church, but rather we need to be teaching better, explaining better WHY the Catholics believe what we do. I know when I was in RCIA, there were a few things that I couldn’t for the life of me understand why the Catholic Church had an issue with. After having my questions answered, I now understand and feel good about having that knowledge. If someone had asked me some of those questions before I was confirmed and I’d given my answers at the time, I never would have been confirmed and my heart would have been broken if someone told me I could not be a part of the Church.

Since I first learned about the practice, my heart yearned for its return.

Thanks for all the replies. I read the Catechism link you provided as well.

For those who think confirmation should be done right after baptism, is this just because the fear of death before the child reaches the “age of discretion”? Since this is no longer practiced in cases of infancy, can someone tell me why it changed? I’m sure there is a good reason. I do agree with the Catechism that age of discretion can happen at any age one has accepted the responsibilties they have to go forth in with their faith and the teachings of Christ and the Church.

What I see now is many kids going to confirmation classes do not believe the churches stance on some of the questions I asked earlier. When I went through the classes I didn’t exactly know if I believed them or not at the time, but times are different now. There are teens who really don’t believe and understand the teachings at all.

Maybe we shouldn’t deny them too quickly, but like the last poster said, we should at least have better teachers explaining why the church believes these things. And, if they still do not agree, then how can we call them a true Catholic and confirm them anyway? Times are different now, if we are going to continue confirming teenagers, they know a lot more than we think.

Here is a recent story that actually made me ask these questions…


People should be very wary of “I personally think” responses that oppose church teaching. If they are unsatisfied with the Latin Rite they should ask the bishop’s permission to join another rite instead of poisoning the thoughts of others!

Not in my case. As the Catechism says, “In the first centuries Confirmation generally comprised one single celebration with Baptism, forming with it a “double sacrament,” according to the expression of St. Cyprian…In the West the desire to reserve the completion of Baptism to the bishop caused the temporal separation of the two sacraments. The East has kept them united, so that Confirmation is conferred by the priest who baptizes.”

To me, the two sacraments are so closely related that they should be conferred together.

In my ideal world, baptized and confirmed Catholics would continue their education and formation throughout their lives. Children would have informed parents and teachers who would guide them and teach them. Adults would continue to learn about their faith.

“Oppose church teaching?” “Poisoning the thoughts of others?” Oh my.

Considering that in the Western Church infants can be confirmed in danger of death, it’s hardly in opposition to think that’s OK. And Eastern Catholics who practice confirmation (or chrismation) of infants are fully Catholic.

I disagree. The restoration is of the ORDER of the sacraments. Baptism and Confirmation should precede Eucharist even when separated temporally.

It does not make sense that Eucharist precedes Confirmation even in the West as all theological discussion including the CCC teaches this order.

I’m not sure I understand who you are referring to that is unsatisfied with the teachings?? :confused: I agree with the teachings. I’ll I’m asking for is thoughts and understandings, not to “poison” my friend.

If someone can give me a link or something as to why did the time of confirmation change from infancy to young adult or in some cases 7 or 8 year olds?

I am going through a weird time. A few months ago I talked to a couple priests and they helped me understand the churches stance on the most controversial topics and why. I’ve also been listening to the Catholic Q&A on podcasts. I felt really good to know, yet I felt sad because I also know how so many do not know and blame the church for things we do not really teach. However I feel different now, instead of seeing more light, I feel more blind again. I’m not sure why. I would like to be a part of this forum community as well. Sorry if anyone thinks I am poisoning. I just can’t help but ask more questions. :frowning:

I should also have mentioned earlier, I am Roman Catholic.

No. Any/all sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist) should be conferred on individuals who have not yet received it in danger of death regardless of age, per canon law.

This is an excellent article:


They are already true Catholic because they are baptized. Confirmation completes baptism. It is your baptism that is being confirmed, and the bishop (or priest) that is doing th confirming. Confirmation is a free gift of grace that strengthenss the person’s baptismal grace and confers the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Who better to receive additional gifts of the Holy Spirit than those who are confused and led astray by the culture?

Nothing I have stated opposes church teaching.

Are the bishop in the US who have restored order poisoning the thoughts of others? Is Pope Benedict poisoning our thoughts?

You need to study what is and is not doctrinal and what we are free to have opinions on before accusing people of such things.

Me and those who agree with me, apparently.

This excellent article is written by the bishop of Phoenix:


You are doing nothing wrong and are welcome to ask your questions here. That is the purpose of the site.

Remember, parents are the primary educators of their children in the faith. So we must first look at how and why our parents might have failed us in that regard. The Church provides eucation also, but it is secondary to the family. On a local level this might be lived out in a better or worse manner, but the Church as a whole provides GOBS of teaching, we have but to pay attention to it.

I just thought someone should answer your list of quetions,. :slight_smile:

No, at least not in my diocese. They wait until high school here, usually 10th or 11th grade. I think it should be much younger.

Does anyone think we should be asking more forward questions? And, if one disagrees with any of the below questions, should we tell them they can not be part of the church?

We do a pretty good interview prior to Confirmation. No one involved with the Confirmation process has the authority to tell someone they cannot be a part of the Church. Usually, our role is to point confirmation candidates toward more information when they have questions. In some extreme cases, the Sacrament may be delayed. In ten years working in RE at my parish, I have only seen this once.

Here are a few of those questions I think we should be asking -

Do you, or do you not support gay rights including gay marriage?

Do you, or do you not think women should be church leaders including women as priests?

Do you, or do you not favor artificial birth control?

Do you, or do you not think the bread and wine really becomes Jesus?

It’s not an opinion poll. What we should be doing is making sure that people understand what the Church teaches and why.

for example:

Do you understand the Church’s traching on marriage and chastity?

Do you understand what the Church teaches about the Sacrament of Ordination?


I think that in order to call yourself a true Catholic, this is what the church should be more demanding of in their teachings

“true Catholic”? What does that even mean? The Church is already pretty “demanding”. In order to be considered a practicing Catholic, a Catholic in good standing, one must assent to the Church’s teachings. It’s pretty clear.

Great link, 1ke, that really helps me understand!

I guess I’m just starting to get a better grip on the challenges I’m facing now compared to the what I faced then. Of course I was told confirmation is the time to ask all those burning questions, but at my age I couldn’t think of any. It’s funny how my brain perceived things back then. The church said we do not believe in the use of birth control, and I said, OK. I never asked WHY!!

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.