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Anonymous wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Is any consideration given to disabled people trying to get confirmed?
  • May a priest give any grace other than full RCIA?
  • Are there any circumstances where a disabled person might be granted the sacrament of Confirmation similar to that of a dying person?

Thank-you for your comments.

Anonymous

  { Is any consideration given to disabled people trying to get confirmed? }

Eric replied:

Hi, Anonymous —

Church law does not often address specifically the case of a disabled individual but common sense, mercy, compassion, and the example of the Gospel would dictate that they have equal access to the sacraments to the extent their condition permits.

The only reason I can think of why a disabled person might not be granted Confirmation is if they are incapable of the use of reason. The same would apply to the Eucharist, though not to Baptism. If you go to an Eastern-Rite Catholic church, they'd be able to offer both.

I am not sure what you mean by may a priest give any grace other than full RCIA. It depends on whether you are speaking of a convert or a Catholic baptized as an infant. As I said above, anyone can receive Baptism. For a Catholic, baptized as an infant, there is no question of RCIA, which is for non-Catholics. For a baptized non-Catholic Christian without the use of reason converting to Catholicism, this would be the most difficult case:

  • they cannot be baptized
  • they cannot make a profession of faith
  • they cannot receive the Eucharist in the Roman Rite, and
  • they cannot be confirmed in the Roman Rite.

(This is what I know, not being a priest. I don't know the details of what they can do in this situation.) Eucharist and Confirmation are the two sacraments of Initiation beyond Baptism.

  • Can you provide more specifics about the nature of the disability?

If it is a disability that excludes the use of reason perhaps we can do some additional research.
If it is a different situation, I don't want to do research that doesn't pertain to your question.

Eric

Anonymous replied:

Eric,

Thank you for your answer.

My case refers to physical disability severe enough to prohibit physical activity (work) and a non-mental disability verified through social security disability benefits for a non-Catholic wishing to convert.

Anonymous

Eric replied:

OK,

That is very helpful.

I see no reason, based on what you've said, why this person should be denied any of the sacraments save perhaps ordination.

  • Is there an actual problem obtaining access to the sacraments or is this purely a theoretical (or potential) question?

Eric

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