Würzburg Auxiliary Bishop Ulrich Boom used cotton swabs to (invalidly) confer Confirmation, Mainpost.de reports (October 8).
The same was done before in Milan and Naples, Italy.
Apart from contradictory opinions regarding the validity of Confirmations performed with instruments, Acts 8:17 states that Confirmation is imparted by laying on of the hands (not cotton swabs).
Therefore, the Holy Office declared in 1885 that Orthodox Confirmations performed with a brush are doubtful and must be repeated. Most theologians in the early 20th century concluded that the matter of Confirmation ist the laying on of the hands.
The 1917 Codex of Canon Law explicitly forbade the use of instruments at Confirmation. Also the 1983 Codex of Canon law explains that Confirmation is conferred “by the anointing of chrism on the forehead, which is done by the imposition of the hand.“