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The Catholic Catechism (1305) says:

"the confirmed person receives the power to profess faith in Christ publicly and as it were officially (quasi ex officio)."

Does this mean that a confirmed person has more privilege to profess their faith in Christ than an unconfirmed person in the eyes of the Church or is it an acknowledgment that the confirmed person will be more apt to profess their faith in Christ (and that the Sacrament of Confirmation is a channel for that grace)? Or something else?

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  • What would be other examples of different "relationships" with rhe Church? You're either in the Church or outside. You're a regular or secular, layman or cleric. I don't understand what is meant by relationship with the Church. Certainly one who is confirmed is fit for more, what kind of privilege that carries I am not aware. Likely nothing has been defined.
    – Glorius
    Commented Mar 22, 2023 at 19:05
  • @Glorius I think Matrimony (ought to be) and Holy Orders (is hopefully) predicated on being confirmed. But I'm talking more about whether the idea is that confirmation gives a Catholic some sort of standing to proclaim the Gospel.
    – Peter Turner
    Commented Mar 22, 2023 at 19:16
  • Although it's unnecessary for validity those sacraments could be called a privilege of the confirmed. I think the new formulation is better. Hopefully someone enlightens us.
    – Glorius
    Commented Mar 22, 2023 at 19:51

2 Answers 2

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Does reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation change a Catholic's standing the Church?

The reception of the sacrament of confirmation marks the recipient permanently, making it impossible to receive the sacrament twice.

It also makes one a ”soldier of Christ” and enables us to be witnesses of the Catholic faith with courage and fortitude.

Confirmation it renders our bond with the Church more perfect.

Without being confirmed a Catholic can not advance to the priesthood or enter regions life.

In general some see the sacrament of confirmation as making our life of sacramental grace complete and we are to be considered mature Catholic faithful.

Effects of confirmation

The Roman Catholic Church and some Anglo-Catholics teach that, like baptism, confirmation marks the recipient permanently, making it impossible to receive the sacrament twice. It accepts as valid a confirmation conferred within churches, such as the Eastern Orthodox Church, whose Holy Orders it sees as valid through the apostolic succession of their bishops. But it considers it necessary to administer the sacrament of confirmation, in its view for the only time, to Protestants who are admitted to full communion with the Catholic Church.

One of the effects of the sacrament is that "it gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1303). This effect was described by the Council of Trent as making the confirmed person "a soldier of Christ".

The same passage of the Catechism of the Catholic Church also mentions, as an effect of confirmation, that "it renders our bond with the Church more perfect". This mention stresses the importance of participation in the Christian community.

The "soldier of Christ" imagery was used, as far back as 350, by St Cyril of Jerusalem.[28] In this connection, the touch on the cheek that the bishop gave while saying "Pax tecum" (Peace be with you) to the person he had just confirmed was interpreted in the Roman Pontifical as a slap, a reminder to be brave in spreading and defending the faith: "Deinde leviter eum in maxilla caedit, dicens: Pax tecum" (Then he strikes him lightly on the cheek, saying: Peace be with you). When, in application of the Second Vatican Council's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, the confirmation rite was revised in 1971, mention of this gesture was omitted. However, the French and Italian translations, indicating that the bishop should accompany the words "Peace be with you" with "a friendly gesture" (French text) or "the sign of peace" (Italian text), explicitly allow a gesture such as the touch on the cheek, to which they restore its original meaning. This is in accord with the Introduction to the rite of confirmation, 17, which indicates that the episcopal conference may decide "to introduce a different manner for the minister to give the sign of peace after the anointing, either to each individual or to all the newly confirmed together."

The Catholic Encyclopedia explains the effects of the sacrament of confirmation as follows:

Confirmation imparts

  • an increase of sanctifying grace which makes the recipient a "perfect Christian";

  • a special sacramental grace consisting in the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost and notably in the strength and courage to confess boldly the name of Christ;

  • an indelible character by reason of which the sacrament cannot be received again by the same person.

A further consequence is the spiritual relationship which the person confirming and the sponsor contract with the recipient and with the recipient's parents. This relationship constitutes a diriment impediment to marriage. It does not arise between the minister of the sacrament and the sponsor nor between the sponsors themselves.

Confirmation is required for ordination as Canon Law states:

Can. 1033 A person is promoted licitly to orders only if he has received the sacrament of confirmation.

The effects of Confirmation when cooperating with the graces create the twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit, which are charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, perseverance, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, and chastity. These help to bring to greater maturity those graces we received in baptism as infants. Confirmation is given, immediately after baptism, of adult baptisms!!!

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Could it be the same as the difference between what a child says and what an adult says? People take one much more seriously than the other.

The confirmation process simply makes this transition more official, telling the world to give this person's words the respect they are due.

Compare with teenagers the day before getting their driver's licences and the day after. They themselves are no different, their driving skills are no different, but that piece of paper makes all the difference.

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