4

Main Question: Can a prospective Catholic convert skip the RCIA by self-teaching the entire corpus of the Catechism of the Catholic Church?

Sub-questions: What parts of the RCIA would the prospective Catholic convert miss out? Would there be a rigorous factual examination of the CCC to confirm that the individual has truly read the material? Also, does the prospective convert really have to believe that the doctrines are true, or will the factual knowledge of the CCC be sufficient for baptism by the Catholic church?

  • waiting for an expert on Catholicism here – Double U Feb 10 '15 at 15:50
  • There are special circumstances that, in case of emergency, a person can be baptized without instruction. – user5286 Feb 11 '15 at 14:17
  • @CharlesAlsobrook The fact that you can baptize someone without instruction historically became a source of controversy. One example was a sick Jewish boy who got emergency-baptized by a servant(?), and by canon law, his Jewish parents could not raise him. So, he became Catholic and, in his adult life, stayed Catholic. He tried to preach to the Jews, but he was unsuccessful. – Double U Feb 11 '15 at 14:39
  • So...you just answered your question? – user5286 Feb 11 '15 at 14:42
  • @CharlesAlsobrook Well, the RCIA can be skipped in emergency situations; however, non-emergency situations may require the RCIA. I suppose there is no such thing as "self-teaching". shrug – Double U Feb 11 '15 at 16:04
2

From Code of Canon Law Can. 865 §1., for one to be baptized, one must have been instructed sufficiently about the truths of faith.

Can. 865 §1. For an adult to be baptized, the person must have manifested the intention to receive baptism, have been instructed sufficiently about the truths of the faith and Christian obligations, and have been tested in the Christian life through the catechumenate. The adult is also to be urged to have sorrow for personal sins.

This has a basis in Church Tradition and history.

In the early Church those who desired to be baptized and become followers of Jesus engaged in a lengthy period of preparation and instruction.

In the early Church those who desired to be baptized and become followers of Jesus engaged in a lengthy period of preparation and instruction. They were called “catechumens” and their process of initiation formed them in the ways of discipleship, incorporated them into the Christian community and culminated in the sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist (Holy Communion). In recent years the Catholic Church has reclaimed this process now called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, often referred to as the RCIA process. Initiation is a journey of conversion that is gradual and suited to individual needs. It is a process rather than an educational program and this process takes place within the community of the faithful, the local Church. - Source: A Look at the Christian Initiation Process | Diocese of Manchester.

The Church through her dioceses establishes a norm called RCIA to achieve this.

A good program in fidelity to the Church and her teaching will by must include the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

I am not aware of a program within the Church where a prospective Catholic convert can skip the RCIA by self-teaching the entire corpus of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Since skipping RCIA is not an option, the Sub-questions have not been answered.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.