RCIA – reconciliation before baptism?

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q:  Can you please confirm or deny: an RCIA minister in our diocese wants to know if the rite recommends at any point for catechumens to receive the sacrament of reconciliation BEFORE they are baptized? I can’t find a reference to it, and it seems unlikely to me that people should avail themselves of this sacrament before they are received into the Church…but I’m not confident saying so definitively without a reference.

Thank you for your time; I know you’re busy, and I appreciate your wisdom.

A:  The RCIA never recommends reconciliation before baptism. Baptism is the first of the sacraments. The others follow. Baptism forgives all sin, so there is no need or possibility for sacramental forgiveness prior to baptism. The scrutinies are in place to help the catechumens overcome their attachments to sin and evil.
No catechumen should be asked to confess sins to a priest before baptism.