Q: I was happy to hear in your presentation that you were stressing that we need to separate the process and rites for those that are truly Catechumens from those that are Candidates (the Baptized and potentially catechized). We have long believed that that is what the Rites called for and have had separate processes for those that are Catechumens and those Candidates that have different formation and catechetical needs as a result of having established religious practices and understanding. We have completed those Sacraments for those using timing that is appropriate for each individual circumstance. We do allow them, to participate in the Easter Vigil if they like and many do as it if often something that is quite meaningful for them for a variety of reasons and the combined rite allows it.
All that said, how would you handle the following…I have a Catechumen who has actually been actively practicing the Catholic faith (minus reception of the Sacraments) for a decade, has a high degree of scriptural literacy, and is more familiar with the deposit of faith as conveyed in the CCC than 99.9% of fully initiated Catholics? We will not force this person through a process that is unnecessary. Can we choose to administer the Sacraments of Initiation at any time?
A: For an unbaptized person, Easter is still the best occasion for the sacraments of initiation. If you have some pressing reason for administering the sacraments early, you may appeal to the bishop for permission.