Deathbed Conversion - protestant to Catholic & Final Sacraments?


#1

Suppose a Baptized protestant wished to make a deathbed conversion to Catholicism and Confess and receive Viaticum and Last Rights (err, I mean, the Anointing of the Sick).

Could an attending priest simply do this (in the same manner he may Baptize a non-Christian simply upon request)? Are there any specific guidelines for such a situation?


#2

[quote=DavidFilmer]Suppose a Baptized protestant wished to make a deathbed conversion to Catholicism and Confess and receive Viaticum and Last Rights (err, I mean, the Anointing of the Sick).

Could an attending priest simply do this (in the same manner he may Baptize a non-Christian simply upon request)? Are there any specific guidelines for such a situation?
[/quote]

I am more than 99 percent certain that this is possible. The believer has to accept all church teachings, however. The believer has to come into FULL communion, just like any other convert would. But in cases of death, waiting periods and stuff like that are out the window. Full communion is still required. (And I’m certain that you can also add confirmation to that list as well.)


#3

[quote=sweetchuck]The believer has to accept all church teachings, however.
[/quote]

That seems logical, but the problem here is that a person on his deathbed may not have the time or the stamina to profess such an understanding. It might be the case that the best he can do is request to be admitted to the Final Sacraments. Presumably the priest has never seen this person before. What is the priest to do?


#4

[quote=DavidFilmer]That seems logical, but the problem here is that a person on his deathbed may not have the time or the stamina to profess such an understanding. It might be the case that the best he can do is request to be admitted to the Final Sacraments. Presumably the priest has never seen this person before. What is the priest to do?
[/quote]

well, baptism is the sacrament that is necessary for salvation. (Of course, this is not to say that God will not save someone who has not, out of ignorance of the sacrament, been baptized.) The priest would definitely baptize an unbaptized person, and any person in fact could baptize an unbaptized person in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

As for the other sacraments, it’s not like a priest carries around the Eucharist with him. If a person is dying and there is time to get the Eucharist to him, there is time for the person to make a profession of faith or at least express to those around him his intentions. The person must make it explicitly clear that he believes what the Church teaches in order to receive the other sacraments. I think a lot of times, though, much is left up to the priest’s judgment.


#5

[quote=sweetchuck]As for the other sacraments, it’s not like a priest carries around the Eucharist with him.
[/quote]

I was thinking of a priest making a hospital visitation. He most certainly would be carrying his portable Mass kit (or, at least a pix containing the Host). Of course, Unction and Confession require no special matter (though the priest usually wears a small purple stole).


#6

How about this?

1401 When, in the Ordinary’s judgment, a grave necessity arises, Catholic ministers may give the sacraments of Eucharist, Penance, and Anointing of the Sick to other Christians not in full communion with the Catholic Church, who ask for them of their own will, provided they give evidence of holding the Catholic faith regarding these sacraments and possess the required dispositions.241

Cf. CIC, can. 844 § 4.


#7

Didn’t John Wayne do the old deathbed conversion? There are several others. It is not the best plan (if it is a plan like Bart Simpson) since you never know when you are going to die.

But there have been many deathbed conversions from what I have heard.

Scylla


#8

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.