Bishop refuses confirmation to unprepared candidate

Bishop refuses confirmation to unprepared candidate

Kudos to Bishop Edward Braxton of Belleville, Illinois. While I’ve heard some complaints about him, I have to applaud his recent stern action that sets an example for the duty of bishops and priests to properly form their people.

According to the story, Bishop Braxton showed up at a parish for an adult Confirmation but found the woman was so ill-prepared that he refused to perform the sacrament.

Nicole Schilling, of New Athens, where she attends church at a different parish, and nine of her relatives heard the bishop’s decision moments before the ceremony and angrily left the event, said Voelker. Schilling, an employee of King’s House in Belleville, a religious retreat run by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, did not bring a required baptismal certificate and was not known to the pastor of her home parish, Braxton said in a statement.

Schilling declined to comment.

Braxton told the woman she would need at least 10, one-hour education sessions and “some time for prayer and reflection,” Voelker said.

That would be Father James Voelker, pastor of St. Michael’s parish where Schilling was to be confirmed. He claimed that the woman told him that “she had completed some earlier reading about Catholicism and he thought that was enough for confirmation.” He thought that was enough? Sounds like someone else needs some remedial education too.

Priests publicly attack bishop

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
4 comments
  • I’m glad the bishop took the action he did.  But I feel sorry for the woman in question, had her pastor been a devoted priest rather than a Father Doofus, she could be confirmed.  This is a clear indication of what is really killing the Church these days, poor catetics at the hands of the laity by those who should no better

  • Sometimes when I hear about priests like this Voelker (and it is more often than not), I quake in my shoes.  I am a convert and I had no idea that the Church was in such dire straits.  Thank God for the JPII generation.  I can’t wait for these priests to sweep out the remnants of these VII charletons.

  • Leadership on issues like this has to come from the bishop. If a pastor or a parish DRE were to give some tough love on this, they’d be thrown under the bus right quick.

  • “The bishop also has responsibility for the entire process of Christian initiation… Ecclesiastical tradition has viewed pastoral responsibility in this regard to be so peculiarly the bishop’s own as to declare without qualification, in the words of Ignatius of Antioch: It is not permitted to baptize without the authorization of the bishop.—- Ceremonial of Bishops, #404.

    Note that marriage is different, as (in the Western tradition) it is conferred by the spouses, and is not a sacrament of initiation.

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