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61 Jurist 257 (2001)
Reception into Full Communion: Canonical Issues and Pastoral Challenges

handle is hein.journals/juristcu61 and id is 261 raw text is: THE JURIST 61 (2001) 257-280

RECEPTION INTO FULL COMMUNION:
CANONICAL ISSUES AND PASTORAL CHALLENGES
AMY JILL STRICKLAND*
Since its promulgation in 1972,1 the Rite of Christian Initiation of
Adults (RCIA) has become an important feature of Catholic parish life in
the United States and many other parts of the world. An essential part of
the RCIA for most parishes is found in Part 1I, the Rite of Reception of
Baptized Christians Into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church
(Rite of Reception).2 The very title of this ritual makes multiple positive
ecumenical statements. First, it refers to the reception of baptized Chris-
tians, not to the abjuration of former errors and the absolution from
censures of converts from heresy, as did rites before 1972.3 Second, it
* Metropolitan Tribunal, Archdiocese of Boston, Massachusetts
Rituale Romanum: Ordo initiationis Christiana' adultorum (OICA) (Typis Poly-
glottis Vaticanis, 1972). The first English version was an interim or provisional translation
issued by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) in 1974. The
final version approved for the dioceses of the United States, the Rite of Christian Initiation
of Adults, is a translation and adaptation prepared by ICEL and the Bishops' Committee
on the Liturgy (BCL) of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB). Study edi-
tions are available in The Rites, vol. 1 (New York: Pueblo, 1990) and from Liturgy Train-
ing Publications, Chicago (1988). Because the numbering of the adapted American ver-
sion differs from that of the editio typica, the numbering of both will be given, except
when the American version has no counterpart in the editio typica. With respect to ICEL
translations of other liturgical rites, only the title of the rite will be given, because the same
translation and numbering are used in all the editions of the various publishers.
The adapted RCIA was approved by the NCCB on II November 1986 and was con-
firmed by the Apostolic See on February 19, 1988 (prot. n. 1192/86). It acquired the force
of law for the dioceses of the United States on September 1, 1988. Since that date, the
RCIA has been the only adult initiation ritual that may be used licitly in the Latin rite ter-
ritories of the NCCB.
2 Ordo admissionis valide iam baptizatorum in plenam communionem Ecclesia'
catholica'; hereinafter cited as Ordo admissionis. This was published as an appendix of the
OICA. In the adapted American version of 1988, it appears as chapter 5 of Part II of the
RCIA, with paragraph numbering continuing from previous chapters, unlike the editio
typica, which begins the Ordo admissionis with new paragraph numbers. For this reason,
the numbering of both versions will be cited.
3 The Roman Ritual: Complete Edition, ed. Philip T. Weller (Milwaukee: Bruce,
1964) 741. With respect to the pre-Vatican II liturgical books, Josef A. Jungmann noted:
For this case [of reception into full communion], the liturgical books had so far not con-

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