From a reader…
I wonder if you can help me out here. I have a good old friend who is having the dickens of a time with the confirmation of his children. He and his wife and children really want to have a traditional Latin confirmation, but the bishop of the diocese is so dead-set against the usus antiquior that he is trying to extinguish it wherever it exists and would never give permission for said confirmation.
So my friend has asked priests of the FSSP and ICKSP if they would allow his children to join the confirmandi at their parishes (in other dioceses). Several priests have responded: “You would need your bishop’s permission to have your children confirmed outside his diocese.” Which permission of course would, in this case, never be granted, so it’s a vicious circle.
My question to you is: is it technically correct that a bishop’s permission is needed before a child can be confirmed outside the diocese? My own children were confirmed in another diocese at an FSSP parish, no questions asked.
“You would need your bishop’s permission to have your children confirmed outside his diocese.”
The 1983 Code of Canon Law says in c. 886 that a Bishop may lawfully administer the sacrament of confirmation within his diocese “even to the faithful who are not his subjects, unless there is an express prohibition by their own ordinary.”
So, if the bishop of the potential confirmand coming from outside the diocese doesn’t explicitly object, you can go to another diocese for confirmation.
According to the law, it isn’t necessary for people to get permission from their own pastor or the local bishop to seek confirmation from a bishop outside of their own diocese.
Still, if I were on the other end, in the other, target diocese, and someone showed up asking to be confirmed, as pastor of the parish where it was to take place, would want to know what gives, whether or not the pastor of the potential confirmand’s parish knew him, etc.
Also, once confirmed it is necessary that the confirmatus‘ parish be informed so that the sacrament can be noted in the sacramental register.
That could get political. Hence, be careful.
In sum, if there is an bishop a another diocese willing to include “guests” from outside the diocese, then, according to the Church’s law, the faithful can request to be confirmed validly and licitly, providing that their home bishop doesn’t explicitly object.
The proprieties should be observed, of course. Avoid the appearance of “sneaking around”.