WASHINGTON (August 31, 2001) -- Following recognition by the Holy See, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has decreed that the age for conferring the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Latin Rite dioceses of the United States will be between "the age of discretion and about sixteen years of age."
Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza of Galveston-Houston, President of the USCCB, issued the "decree of promulgation" on August 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 seven) and "about sixteen years of age." 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 decree becomes effective July 1, 2002.