RCIA 34: Adaptations by the Bishop

img_6803Under the heading “Adaptations by the Bishop,” one section:

34. It pertains to the bishop  for his own diocese:

1. to set up the formation program of the catechumenate and to lay down norms according to local needs (see RCIA 12);

In practice, setting up this formation is left to the pastor, or the parish minister. Sometimes a bishop will take interest in the formation of those who work with catechumens.

2. to decide whether and when, as circumstances warrant, the entire rite of Christian initiation may be celebrated outside the usual times (see RCIA 26);

3. to dispense, on the basis of some serious obstacle, from one scrutiny or, in extraordinary circumstances, even from two (see RCIA 331);

This provision is occasionally ignored. I have heard from a colleague–I mentioned this a few weeks ago–of one pastor who routinely dispensed the elect from all the scrutinies. The reasoning was something along the lines that they were too negative or depressing.

4. to permit the simple rite to be used in whole or in part (see RCIA 331);

5. to depute catechists, truly worthy and properly prepared, to give the exorcisms and blessings (see RCIA 12, 16);

I can’t recall a diocese where this is any kind of a formality.

6. to preside at the rite of election and to ratify, personally or through a delegate, the admission of the elect (see RCIA 12);

Presidency at the rite of election is pretty standard.

7. in keeping with the provisions of law (canon law 874.1 & 2), to stipulate the requisite age for sponsors (see Christian Initiation, General Introduction, no 10.2).

Thoughts? Comments? What does your bishop do?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in post-conciliar liturgy documents, RCIA, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

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