Friday, September 30, 2005

More on First Reconciliation - First Holy Communion

This Letter from the Vatican explains it quite well. The whole letter is worthwhile to read. There are several good points to common objections, especially objections I have encountered.

When he arrives at the age of discretion, the child has the right in the church to receive both sacraments. It would be an absurd and unjust discrimination and a violation of his conscience if he were prepared for and admitted only to holy communion. It is not enough to say that children have the right to go to confession if this right remains practically ignored. (emphasis added)

This has been my experience. IF the parent asks, then the child is allowed to go on their own with no prep by the RE department. But this statement also brings to point, if the child isn't old enough to understand Confession and Penance (i.e. telling God sorry and getting forgiven) then how is he to understand Transubstantiation?

But to me it boils down to this. The arguement is not about me or you versus the RE department. It is about being part of the Roman Catholic Church versus the local traditions (notice the small "t"). And this is the only time I have heard any defense of tradition or Tradition by this RE department. So it is about Obedience.

Here is the nuts and bolts answer from the Vatican to the question that was posed:
is it still lawful for first communion to precede first confession as a general rule in those parishes where this practice has been in force for the last several years?

The Congregations for the Sacraments and Divine Worship and for the Clergy, with the approval of Pope Paul Vl, have replied:

No, in accord with the mind of the Declaration.

No comments: