That He Confer It Himself: Why Catholic Bishops Should Confer Confirmation
For over a quarter century, since our oldest child was baptized in 1996, my wife and I have marked the passage of time by our children’s sacraments. They’ve also proved a great way to keep the house clean. The spring often meant yard work to get ready for a First Communion, and the fall meant one last trimming of the hedges for Confirmation. This month was our last Confirmation, and our youngest child was sealed with chrism oil at the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s cathedral-basilica, St. Peter in Chains, on November 8.
Sadly, it didn’t pass without controversy. As has been the case with half of our six children, the minister of the sacrament wasn’t our bishop, His Excellency Dennis M. Schnurr. To make matters worse, Schnurr’s replacement was a priest best known for emptying churches with his effete theatrics in the sanctuary. One frustrated fellow parent of a confirmandi, upon learning who would be filling in for the archbishop, said, “I can’t think of anyone less inspiring to a 13-year-old boy.”
We’ve taught each of our children during their Confirmation catechesis that the bishop provides a vital apostolic connection to the sacrament because he serves as a successor to the Apostles. The language of the Catechism (sec. 1313) couldn’t be clearer about the importance of this link:
In the Latin Rite, the ordinary minister of Confirmation is the bishop. If the need arises, the bishop may grant the faculty of administering Confirmation to priests, although it is fitting that he confer it himself, mindful that the celebration of Confirmation has been temporally separated from Baptism for this reason. Bishops are the successors of the apostles. They have received the fullness of the sacrament of
Article from LewRockwell