An Outlier, or Going Rogue?
As I continue my "family mileposts tour" this week, I don't have my books to help me with posting, so Tuesday's Gospel post for Trinity Sunday won't be available this week.
I do receive my news wire reports, and yesterday I received news from the conservative National Catholic Register. On Pentecost Sunday (two days ago) Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver announced to his diocese that in the future the Sacrament of Confirmation will be conferred upon third graders at the same Mass they receive their first communion. This ordering of initiation is, in fact, the correct one. Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist is the official order of initiation.
However, for most dioceses Confirmation has been administered later than third grade. There are a number of reasons for this, but the practical one at the parochial level is holding on to the students as long as possible for CCD or religious education since Confirmation has been viewed erroneously as a "graduation" from religious instruction.
There are a number of important discussion points here that I can't immediately address here, but I will when I get back to the "friendly confines" of the Cafe. Two of the biggest points that jump out at me: (1) We have an individual making a major change in custom and practice outside the ambit of the USCCB. (2) If the practice were to be replicated elsewhere, what kinds of religious education/faith formation formats would be put in place with the "carrot" of Confirmation now removed from the end of the rainbow?
A further question is the nature of sacraments, notably confirmation. When I get done eating wedding cake and eventually get back to routine, we can discuss them at length. I can't provide links on portable devices, but you can look up National Catholic Register news stories on your own search engines. Will check in as I can.
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