Rome, 5.17.11 (Kipa) The Vatican has temporarily delayed plans of the diocese of Bozen-Brixen in south Tyrol to raise the age of confirmation from 12 to 18. The Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship has written a letter to Bishop Karl Golser asking for further information about the pilot project planned for this fall, as the diocese has confirmed to Kipa.

The letter states that the sacrament should be administered “at the age of discretion,” with reference to the prescriptions of the Italian bishops’ conference which foresee confirmation “around the age of twelve.”

Responding to the wish of several parishes, two years ago the diocese began to develop a plan for raising the age of confirmation, explained Markus Felder, leader of the Office for Catechesis and Religious Instruction. Starting this fall, some 20 interested communities were to have taken part in the pilot project.

Not stopped, only delayed

According to Felder, a prompt response of the bishop to the Vatican and a quick clarification of the question is to be expected. The project has not been stopped, only temporarily delayed.

In Switzerland, the model of confirmation around 17 or 18 is practiced in numerous parishes in several dioceses.