Age of Confirmation Decreed in U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPT. 4, 2001 ( The age for conferring the sacrament of confirmation in the U.S. Latin-rite dioceses will be between “the age of discretion and about 16 years of age,” the nation´s bishops decreed.

Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued the decree of promulgation Aug. 21. It was countersigned by Monsignor William P. Fay, general secretary of the USCCB.

The decree follows approval last November by the nation´s Latin-rite bishops of legislation for the United States setting the age for conferring the sacrament of confirmation at between the age of discretion (considered to be about age 7) and about 16.

The Holy See´s Congregation for Bishops gave its recognition of the U.S. bishops´ action on May 9.

The 1983 Code of Canon Law sets the age for conferring confirmation “at about the age of discretion unless the conference of bishops has determined another age” (Canon 891). The U.S. decree takes effect July 1.