US Bishops Change the Name of RCIA to OCIA which Makes Distinctions Regarding Groups Entering the Church
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops at their Fall Assembly approved a revised English edition of the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults and a revised edition in Spanish. The actions occurred at the November 17th session, the second day of two days of public sessions. Their meeting lasted from Nov. 15-18 in Baltimore, Maryland The English version passed 215-0 with two abstentions. The Spanish version passed 218-3 with one abstention. However, they still require a further “confirmatio” and “recognitio” by the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, or RCIA, will now be called Order of Christian Initiation of Adults, or OCIA. However, the Spanish version will keep its acronym of RICA, for Ritual de la Iniciacion Cristiana de Adultos.
Archbishop Leonard P. Blair of Hartford (see Video above), Connecticut, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, explained to the U.S. bishops they had authorized in 2019 a new translation of the texts used in the RCIA/OCIA by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. The texts of the revisions are more than 250 pages in each language. “While most of our liturgical books follow the arrangement of the Latin edition very closely, the RCIA is an exception; the edition used in this country since the 1980s rearranges the material substantially to make it more ‘user-friendly,'” Archbishop Blair said in an introductory message to the bishops. “Our current book also supplements the material significantly, mostly for the sake of bringing already-baptized people into the church,” he added, whereas the Latin edition focuses almost entirely on the non-baptized. While some enter the church needing all three sacraments of initiation — baptism, confirmation and Communion — some have already been baptized, either as Catholics or in another Christian faith, and Catholicism recognizes the baptism of nearly all other Christian denominations. Still others may have been baptized and received the Eucharist, but never received the sacrament of confirmation. In the English text, the Latin word for “candidate” will now involve. “Terms such as ‘inquirer,’ ‘catechumen’ and ‘elect’ are now used,” Archbishop Blair said. The Easter Vigil rites have also been adjusted, he noted, “with a particular emphasis on the validity of baptism received in other Christian communities,” he said. Another adaptation, Archbishop Blair said, takes into account “four distinct groups” entering the church: “catechumens, unbaptized infants, baptized Christians and baptized Catholics in need of confirmation.” “The RCIA book that we’ve been using in the United States in the 1980s both reorders and supplements the Latin version extensively,” Archbishop Blair told the bishops Nov. 16. The rites now contains texts for the baptism of infants at the Easter Vigil. “Although rare, it does happen, and is certainly permitted,” Archbishop Blair said. Any amendments made to either the Spanish text, approved in 1991, or the English version may need to be cross-checked to assure that each language’s text is saying the same thing, he said. (Edited from CNS) Image Screenshot from https://queenofapostles.org/wp-content/uploads/RCIA-sized.png