A question concerning the Annointing Of The Sick

As a Catholic who is also a Recovered Alcoholic, 26 years sober in AA, I have had, at various times, the sacrament of The Annointing Of The Sick, particularly during Lent.:highprayer:

However, I will be going on a 4 week vacation to Greece, 24 March - 21 April, staying with a Greek Orthodox friend. This assumes the British Airways strikes do not affect my flights on 24 March and 21 April, and that Athens airport is not shut down by a general strike (Greece has had 4 of them in the last couple of months) on 25 March and 21 April.:crying:

I understand that, strictly speaking, Catholics are not supposed to receive communion in Orthodox Churches. But what about the sacrament of the Annointing Of The Sick? Is this sacrament valid if an Orthodox priest renders it onto me?:confused:

Congratulations on your sobriety!

From the Catholic side there are circumstances laid out in Canon law where we are allowed to receive Holy Eucharist and Sacred Unction from an Orthodox priest. From the Orthodox side you may be unlikely to find a priest willing to give you these Holy Mysteries. (There is a separate special anointing that occurs at the end of the Liturgy on major feast days and on the Sunday following those feasts. There are places where an Orthodox priest would be comfortable anointing you with that oil, which is NOT Holy Unction. I’ve been anointed quite a few times under those festal circumstances.)

canon 844 §2 Whenever necessity requires it or true spiritual advantage suggests it, and provided that danger of error or of** indifferentism is avoided,** the Christian faithful for whom it is **physically or morally impossible to approach a Catholic minister **are permitted to receive the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick from non-Catholic ministers in whose Churches these sacraments are valid.

" non-Catholic ministers in whose Churches these sacraments are valid." means an Orthodox priest of any valid Orthodox church. (There are “Orthodox” churches like there are “Catholic” churches which are not valid groups. Unlikely to run into one in Greece on your vacation me thinks.)

I hope you’ll go with your Greek Orthodox friend to any liturgy you have the chance to go to! :thumbsup: Being there during Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday, Holy week and Pascha there will be many beautiful liturgies available that you must go to! :smiley:Christos Anesti!

If you aren’t familiar with the Divine Liturgy then maybe you can get a copy of it in English since the Liturgies there will be in Greek. Also go on line and see some videos of the Liturgies so you’d be somewhat familiar, if you aren’t already. Your friend will be familiar with them, hopefully!

I’ve been to many Russian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox Divine Liturgies, including Pascha at the Greek Orthodox Church and I just don’t present myself for Holy Eucharist. Your Sunday obligation is dispensed when you are unable to get to any Catholic Church, and the Sunday obligation in any case is to participate in a valid Mass, reception of Eucharist is not part of the Sunday obligation.

All of the Holy Mysteries in the Orthodox Churches are considered valid. The Catholic Church considers the Orthodox clergy to be validly ordained. Canon 844 §2 permits Catholics to receive the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick, under the circumstances given.

Prayers that the troubles in Greek will not disrupt your trip. Prayers for Greece… they are in hard times.

All Sacraments of the Orthodox are valid and could be received by a Catholic if necessary when they have no recourse to a Catholic priest. Are you seriously ill in danger of death, or advanced in age?

Age 65, with the chronic illness of alcoholism. :frowning:

That would be a decision of your pastor then. To seek this Sacrament from an Orthodox priest would require in my opinion that you would not have access to the Sacrament for an unreasonable amount of time from a priest of the Catholic Church.

Everyone has covered what you need to know. I just wanted to give you “props” (as the kids say these days) for being sober for an outstanding 26 years.

Talk to your Priest first. He’ll he’ll likely say “if it’s a question of life or death…there is no question” but you’ll feel more at peace about it if you ask.

As [post=6420943]5Loaves[/post] has already pointed out, the sacrament is valid. The bigger question is whether an Orthodox priest will administer it to a non-Orthodox. In general, the answer would be “no” (as is usually the case with the Eucharist), but there are ad-hoc exceptions made. Best bet is ask your Greek Orthodox friend to make an introduction and then speak with the priest in person. :slight_smile:

The only qualification you need for the Anointing, of the sick,
is, [To be sick].
The Bibles says, “The believer shall lay hands on the sick, And they shall recover”
Mk 16: 18.
This means what it says, [A BELIEVER], not only catholics.
Who are you going to believe, Catholics or the God.

The beginning of the Rite of Anointing of the sick speaks of those who are “Seriously ill”. “Sick” is a very broad term, you could be sick with a cold. “Believer” is also broad today. Back then if you were a “Believer” you were Catholic! Today you can be a Believer Catholic, or partial believer, various degrees of non-Catholic Christians.

I would agree with Br Rich. I myself would not see a four week vacation as sufficient to call into play the pastoral provisions of canon 844 §2. However, if OP for some tragic reason you found you were in fact truly in danger of death, unlikely to be able to reach a Catholic priest before dying, I would absolutely request confession, Holy Unction, and Holy Eucharist from an Orthodox priest and were I truly on my death bed hope to be granted them. Certainly some Orthodox priests I know would offer these Mysteries to a person on their death bed who is not Orthodox and seeks them sincerely. However, in that case I’ve been told by some Orthodox priests that if you received these Mysteries you would be considered Orthodox at that point, were you to not die and to recover you’d have that to deal with.

There is so much to be gained, in my opinion, by sharing in the liturgies in all ways but the reception of the Holy Mysteries, especially during this time of Great Lent and Holy Week when you expect to be in Greece. Catholics are only obliged to receive Holy Communion once a year, during the Easter Season so going for 4 weeks without receiving is not extraordinary. You’re returning from your vacation there before the end of the Easter Season. It’s possible there are Catholics in the region and the option for a Roman Rite or Eastern Catholic liturgy may be possible in addition to Orthodox liturgy.

Catholics weren’t around then, only Christians.
Sick mean any kind of sickness.
“Believer” means any Christian believer.

To accept Christ’s teaching whole and complete is to be Catholic! Just as the First Christians were, there is absolutely no question about that historically. Try readings the Early Christian Writers and see just how Catholic they were. The seven letters of Ignatius are a good place to start, they put you right at the post Apostolic era.

That is a big deseption from the devil, The catholics have no compaison the the early Christians, The First Christians did signs and wonders, healings and miracles. Cast out devil, [The Biblical way] and were baptised in the Holy Ghost & spoke in tongues.
The kind of Church I go to still do that, I as a born again Christian do healings and miracles.

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