What would be some of the particular circumstances that would hamper a well-intentioned person from participating in the mainstream catechumenate?
332. Extraordinary circumstances, for example, sickness, old age, change of residence, long absence for travel, may sometimes either prevent a candidate from celebrating the rite of acceptance that leads to the period of the catechumenate or, having begun the catechumenate, from completing it by participation in all of the rites belonging to the period. Yet merely to use the abbreviated form of the rite given in nos. 340-369 could mean a spiritual loss for the candidate, who would be deprived of the benefits of a longer preparation for the sacraments of initiation. It is therefore important that, with the bishop’s permission, an expanded form of initiation be developed by the incorporation of elements from the complete rite for the Christian initiation of adults.
This is very helpful. We get a list of possible circumstances. There is a reiteration of the bishop’s role.
It’s also a balancing act for pastoral ministers after the bishop has been consulted. How do we address the potential shortfall in the spiritual life for the candidate? Anything the local parish devises should include something to draw the candidate into the spiritual experience of the catechumenate.
RCIA 332 seems to presume that each exception will mean a carefully assembled adaption of rites as well as a preparation effort tailored to the needs of the candidate.
Lots of pastoral work. Do you suppose parishes devote this amount of attention to exceptional circumstances?