It really sounds like people - the lay people scheduling RCIA courses and HFC rules - are getting in the way of this young family coming into the church. What are all the good reasons for holding RCIA courses in the evening when it's convenient for the lay-person already part of the church, but impossible for a young family working evenings? Who are the RCIA courses actually for?
I'm astonished that a group of homeschool women, who didn't jump through the hoops of their local school boards, are so insistent on others jumping through the "right hoops."
Legalistic and rigid thinking is exactly why so many people left the church in the first place.
Praise the Lord my priest has been more understanding and flexible in bringing new families into our parish.
We have no idea how flexible the parish is trying to be. Or how much effort the couple has put in to find a solution. Going through RCIA is not a particuliarly unreasonable hoop. And the RCC is not public school. It is not a democracy and it doesn't admit everyone. It never has, nor should it.
It is not even slightly rigid or legalistic to suggest that someone who isn't catholic can't have the sacraments for themselves or their minor children.
When I went through RCIA, a young teen was attending without her parents. Her parents were not catholic and were not attending. It was explained up front to her that she could not enter the church until she was 18. And she still had to have sponsors too.
It was the right choice and I'm glad for the priests who have such concern and integrity about this.
A lone catholic becoming a stranger in his own land so to speak is not a kind thing to subject a child to. It's cruel and historically it causes spiritual harm.
Saint Monica wept for years because her son was refused sacraments even though she was devoted in her faith. Why? Because his father wanted none of it and was raising his son in ungodly ways and there was more than reasonable concern that giving the sacraments would cause him to commit mortal sins against those sacraments.
As for who schedules RCIA, like most things, it's likely scheduled when things most work out for the most people and then exceptions can be made for those who need accommodation. And in most places it's run by approved volunteers, many of which also have jobs and school children. I worked with 3 different parishes to get through RCIA and they were all very willing to help me. In the end, I still didn't get confirmed with everyone else by the bishop. But my priest welcomed me into the church with a few other "newbies" who also couldn't make everything as scheduled. If my husband had a shift change that meant no sitter on RCIA night, then I would go to the other parish that had one on a day I could attend. If I missed a few it was okay, if I missed a lot, I called the parish and said I was puking sick pregnant again and couldn't make it and we'd get back to it after baby was born. No one made me feel like a less than person or that my kids weren't welcome. It's well known this is a process and often a long journey for many people.