Initiation of Adults in Exceptional Circumstances

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I’m about to have a lady enter the Church. She has been delayed due to COVID and waiting for her Pauline Privilege to be granted, roughly 2 plus years in the works. Now she is fully ready to enter the Church, Pauline Privilege granted and all.

Looking at the RCIA book, I see two options for me to use to bring her into the Church. One is under Part I: Christian Initiation of Adults. 

The second is under Part II: Rites for Particular Circumstances – Christian Initiation of Adults in Exceptional Circumstances. This latter one says it requires the bishop’s permission. Also, the latter/second option to bring this lady into the Church seems to be the proper course of action for me to take; am I correct?

I plan to baptize her later this month. 

Thank you in advance for your help and guidance.


A: If she has not been baptized, you have a choice from the two procedures you have outlined, both of which require the bishop’s permission, but given the time constraints, you are limited to the second option. The first option requires quite a few weeks, including all the principal rites such as Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens, Election, and the Scrutinies. These may be celebrated apart from the regular times with the permission of the bishop.

But if you are planning to baptize her this month, then you are limited to the option for exceptional circumstances. Blessings on your good pastoral care.