"Un Ti Morceau"

"A Little Something," mini-lessons and reflections by our pastor, Father Paul Counce

A Little Q and A

Published February 20, 2011 by Fr. Paul Counce

As we approach the end of this series of reflections on Confirmation, I want to clear up a few misunderstandings which many people mistakenly believe. It’s easy to do this in some quick statements of fact:

(1) One does not have to be confirmed to be married in a Catholic ceremony. Confirmation is recommended before marriage, but it’s not required (can. 1065, §1 of the Code of Canon Law).

(2) A Catholic does have to be confirmed to be a baptismal godparent or confirmation sponsor (can. 874, §1, 3°). If a Catholic hasn’t been confirmed (or is otherwise unqualified) he or she can be a witness to Baptism, just like a non-Catholic can be, but not technically a godparent.

(3) The place of Confirmation (like the first reception of any sacrament) is one’s parish church, or alternatively at the diocesan Cathedral. I know this sounds like just common sense to most people, but sometimes a student in a Catholic school might think that his or her classmates form a more significant “community” of persons. Nope: the school community is a transitory learning environment, where worship is supportive but secondary. It doesn’t supplant the permanent and more “real world” faith community, which in the Catholic Church is a parochial and diocesan one.

In my work as the “Church law expert” over the past 25 years or so I have answered these questions hundreds of times! I hope now I’ve stopped the phone from ringing a little bit!

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