Revised Guidelines for the Celebration of Sacraments for Persons with Disabilities
In 2017, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
released the Revised Edition for the
“Guidelines for the Celebration of Sacraments for Persons with Disabilities”
“To the degree possible, those with disabilities should be included
along with others during the preparation and celebration of the sacrament.
At times, pastoral need may necessitate an accommodated setting and a simpler manner.”
“Baptism is to be made available
to all who freely ask for it,
[and] are properly disposed…
Disability, of itself, is never
a reason for deferring Baptism.
Persons who lack the use of reason are to be baptized provided at least one parent or guardian consents to it.”
“All baptized Catholics ...who because of intellectual or developmental disabilities may never attain the use of reason can receive the Sacrament of Confirmation and should be encouraged either directly or, if necessary, through their parents, to receive it.”
“A person needs only to ‘distinguish the body of Christ from ordinary food’ even if this recognition is evidenced through manner, gesture, or reverential silence rather than verbally… Cases of doubt should be resolved in favor of the right of the Catholic to receive the sacrament.”
“As long as the individual is capable of having a sense of contrition for having committed sin, even if he or she cannot describe the sin precisely in words, the person may receive sacramental absolution.”