RCIA 252: Children of Catechetical Age

img_6803It’s a misnomer, the acronym RCIC. There is no such thing in the Roman Rite. If an acronym is necessary, use CICCA. Sections 252 through 330 give the instructions, rubrics, and rituals for young people. First, let’s hear the basic definition of the “child of catechetical age” from the rite itself:

252. This form 0f the rite of Christian initiation is intended for children, not baptized as infants, who have attained the use of reason and are of catechetical age. They seek Christian initiation either at the direction of their parents or guardians or, with parental permission, on their own initiative. Such children are capable of receiving and nurturing a personal faith and of recognizing an obligation in conscience. But they cannot yet be treated as adults because, at this stage of their lives, they are dependent on their parents or guardians and are still strongly influenced by their companions and their social surroundings.

Ordinarily, use of reason is attributed to the seventh year, or about age six. At that age, there might be a wide range of faith awareness ranging from an intent commitment to a child’s passivity in the face of strong adult expectations. Obviously, for a child unable to nurture a personal faith or able to recognize the gravity of the Christian obligation (proportional to their age, of course) this rite probably does not apply. That said, a catechumenate process for young children will probably take more than one year, so it would be helpful for ministers and the pastor to assess the application of this rite or infant baptism in light of the possibility of personal growth.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in post-conciliar liturgy documents, RCIA, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

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