Out of curiosity, when someone plans to recieve the Sacrament of Confirmation, do they have to recieve this Sacrament from a bishop or cardinal, or can any ordained minister give this Sacrament?

1 Answer 1


A bishop has the power to confirm, but this power can be delegated to a priest.

See the Catechism of the Council of Trent's section on Confirmation:

Minister of Confirmation

Pastors should also teach to whom especially has been committed the administration of this Sacrament; for as, according to the Prophet, there are many who run without being sent, it is necessary to teach who are its true and legitimate ministers, in order that the faithful may be enabled to receive the Sacrament and grace of Confirmation.

Now the Holy Scriptures show that the Bishop alone is the ordinary minister of this Sacrament, because we read in the Acts of the Apostles that when Samaria had received the Word of God, Peter and John were sent to them, who prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Ghost: for he was not as yet come upon any of them, but they were only baptised. Here we may see that he who had baptised, having been only a deacon, had no power to confirm; but that its administration was reserved to a more perfect order of ministers, that is, to the Apostles. The same may be observed whenever the Sacred Scriptures make mention of this Sacrament.

Nor are there wanting in proof of this matter the clearest testimonies of the holy Fathers and of Popes Urban, Eusebius, Damasus, Innocent and Leo, as is evident from their decrees. St. Augustine, also, seriously complains of the corrupt practice of the Egyptians and Alexandrians, whose priests dared to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation.

The thorough propriety of reserving this function to Bishops the pastor may illustrate by the following comparison. As in the construction of buildings the artisans, who are inferior agents, prepare and dispose cement, lime, timbers and the other material, while to the architect belongs the completion of the work; so in like manner this Sacrament, which is, at it were, the completion of the spiritual edifice, should be performed by no other than the chief priest.

  • The only thing I could see adding to the answer is maybe a brief description of typical circumstances when confirmation might be delegated to the priest. Commented Oct 26, 2018 at 14:20
  • @MattGutting Such as if the bishop doesn't have time to do the confirmation himself
    – Geremia
    Commented Oct 27, 2018 at 20:42
  • Exactly. That's the kind of thing that should be added to the answer. Commented Oct 28, 2018 at 1:23

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