Q: I am a pastor. I read your response to a question about confirming baptized Catholics at the Easter Vigil. You said permission from the bishop is needed. Doesn’t this dilute the reason for the Vigil: baptizing and receiving new members into the Church?
A: Well, first of all, the reason for the Easter Vigil is to celebrate the resurrection, not to receive new members. Baptism is one of the Vigil’s many symbols of new life in Christ. Canons 883 and 885 list the circumstances when a priest receives the faculty to confirm from the law itself. Not included among them is having a baptized, unconfirmed Catholic at the Easter Vigil. The bishop is the ordinary minister of confirmation for that person. A priest who wants to confirm a baptized Catholic at the Easter Vigil must first obtain permission from his bishop to do it.