Holy Viaticum & Apostolic Pardon


#1

In researchingHoly Viaticum tonght, I came across something I have never heard about before.

With The Last Sacraments or Holy Viaticum, or Extreme Unction, when in danger of death, Q1 - the priest also administers The Apostolic Pardon ( I read)which means that all temporal punishment (time in Purgatory) is eleminated.

*Q2 -*Hence at death, the soul goes immediately to Heaven, no Purgatory whatsoever. I had to go out before I could do any further research and this can take time.

**Q3 - I understand that The Last Sacrament or Holy Viaticum, or Extreme Unction, is receiving The Sacrament of Reconciliation, last anointing and Holy Communion.* Apparently there is also The Apostolic Pardon. As well as any link or links to sound and reliable Catholic resources which explains clearly the effects of an Apostolic Pardon please. *Q4 - I did ask an educated Catholic who was under the impression that an Apostolic Pardon forgave all sins including mortal sins?**

Q4 - Is the Apostolic Pardon always included in Holy Viaticum when in danger of death and as an official part of the Roman Rite for Holy Viaticum. Is the Rite on the internet and does anyone have a link please?

Q5 - Is the Sacrament of Reconiliation intrinsic to i.e. part of Holy Viaticum? (or only if the person desires to receive this Sacrament)

Q6 Is The Apostolic Pardon conditional on freedom from mortal sin?

Could some kind member please update me on what our Roman Catholic rite and Church teaches on the matter of Holy Viaticum or The Last Sacraments or Extreme Unction as I think it was once known. A link or links to a reliable Catholic source on the subject would be most appreciated.


#2

... Q1 - the priest also administers The Apostolic Pardon...
He should---meaning that he is expected, even obligated, to do so.

*Q2 -*Hence at death, the soul goes immediately to Heaven, ...
"An indulgence is the extra-sacramental remission of the temporal punishment due, in God's justice, to sin that has been forgiven, which remission is granted by the Church in the exercise of the power of the keys..."

I'd suggest this article newadvent.org/cathen/07783a.htm

**Q3 - I understand that The Last Sacrament or Holy Viaticum, or Extreme Unction, is receiving The Sacrament of Reconciliation, last anointing and Holy Communion.* ...
They're all different. You're confusing/combining different realities into one. That's typical though---happens all the time.
Viaticum: means "food for the journey" it is Holy Communion given to a dying person.

Unction (aka anointing because the 2 words are absolutely identical in every way) is the Sacrament of Anointing the Sick with the blessed oil. The word "unction" refers only to this Sacrament.

Reconciliation is (as you know I'm sure) the Sacrament of Confession.

See the bottom of my post for more details....

Q4 - I did ask an educated Catholic who was under the impression that an Apostolic Pardon forgave all sins including mortal sins?

Yes. However, Sacramental Confession should precede this Apostolic Pardon whenever possible.

Q4 - Is the Apostolic Pardon always included in Holy Viaticum when in danger of death and as an official part of the Roman Rite for Holy Viaticum. Is the Rite on the internet and does anyone have a link please?
Again, it "should" be. Whether or not it's always done, we can't say.
I don't have a link to the 1970's rite (copyright issues), but here's a link to the 1964 printing (still a valid and licit form), which is essentially the same.
sanctamissa.org/en/resources/books-1962/rituale-romanum/36-the-sacrament-of-the-anointing-of-sick-apostolic-blessing-plenary-indulgence-at-the-hour-of-death.html

Q5 - Is the Sacrament of Reconiliation intrinsic to i.e. part of Holy Viaticum? (or only if the person desires to receive this Sacrament)
This is tricky. Certainly Communion is "for the forgiveness of sins" (consecration over the chalice). As a matter of practice, the actual Sacrament of Confession should always precede Holy Communion, especially if a person is dying or near death. Even if confession is not possible, the priest is able (again "should") at least say the essential words "I absolve you..." before administering Communion; to the extent that this is possible (is there enough time?, etc.)
As I look at the exact way you phrased your question, the answer is "no"---the Sacrament of Reconciliation is not "part of" Holy Viaticum, but "yes" it should precede Holy Viaticum.

Q6 Is The Apostolic Pardon conditional on freedom from mortal sin?...
Not exactly. In fact, in a certain sense, the opposite is true. It is meant to remit the guilt of mortal sin. However (this is important), the Pardon may not be given to one who persists in mortal sin...since one who does not want to be forgiven cannot be.

Many Catholics (surely many non-Catholics) confuse the different words for the rituals at the time of death. Here's a little summary:

When a person is dying, the priest should do the following:

Sacrament of Confession
Sacrament of Anointing (aka Unction) of the Sick
Sacrament of Communion (in this case, called "Viaticum")
Apostolic Pardon at the hour of death

All 4 of these together (again "together) constitute "The Last Rites."

The phrase "extreme unction" often causes confusion. This simply means "the Sacrament of Anointing" (ie "unction") done "in extremis" meaning at the "extreme" end of life. In other words, the "extreme" is merely an adjective added to the word "anointing." It is always the same Sacrament. The adjective merely describes the specific circumstances of being done at the end of life. Sometimes "unction" is "extreme unction" sometimes it's no.*


#3

There are two rites here. One is the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, and the other is the celebration of Viaticum.

During the course of the Church’s history, the anointing of the sick (which had originally been all about healing, not about impending death) became associated with the last moments of a person’s life. Therefore, up until Vatican II, the sacrament (which had become known in the Latin rite as ‘Extreme Unction’) was administered only to those for whom death seemed imminent.

With Vatican II, though, came a change. In the 20th century, theologians were already discussing the original meanings of the sacrament and its Scriptural basis, and so there was the desire to return to some of these meanings. The name of the sacrament was officially declared to be “the Anointing of the Sick”, and it was declared to be appropriately received by anyone who, through old age or serious illness, felt the need for healing. Many Catholics, however, still associate it with the moment of death. (So does Hollywood, whose films still perpetuate this perception of the sacrament.) Paul VI wrote the Apostolic Constitution Sacram unctionem infirmorum, describing the sacrament, and approved the updated order of the rite (Ordo Unctionis infirmorum eorumque pastoralis curae: ‘the order of anointing of the sick and of their pastoral care’).

The Anointing of the Sick can take place in the context of the Mass, or it can be outside the Mass. The Church also has a ritual for anointing in a hospital or institution. The ritual for the Anointing includes a Liturgy of the Word and a Liturgy of Anointing. The Liturgy of Anointing includes a laying on of hands and an anointing.

Viaticum, however, is part of the pastoral care of the dying. It is Eucharist that is “food for the journey” (which is what ‘viaticum’ means), and it is meant to strengthen the Catholic who is preparing himself or herself for their passage from this life. (Please note that viaticum is different from communion to the sick – in that context, the Church includes the ill person in the community celebration of the Eucharist and prays for their health; viaticum, on the other hand, is expressly part of the pastoral care of the dying.)

when in danger of death, Q1 - the priest also administers The Apostolic Pardon ( I read)which means that all temporal punishment (time in Purgatory) is eleminated.

In fact, the celebration of Viaticum is expressly meant as part of ministry to the dying, for those in ‘proximate danger of death’. This celebration can contain a number of features: a renewal of baptismal promises, a penitential rite (or the celebration of the sacrament of Reconciliation), a Liturgy of the Word, a Liturgy of the Eucharist, and of course, reception of Communion. Depending on the state of the person, there may be no opportunity for such a celebration of the sacraments; in these cases, an abbreviated rite may be utilized.

The Apostolic Pardon, which you mention, can be part of the celebration of Viaticum. Following the celebration of the sacrament of Reconciliation (or following the Penitential Rite, if the person has recently celebrated the sacrament of Reconciliation), the priest may give the ‘apostolic pardon for the dying’ to the person. He does so by way of praying one of these two prayers:

“Through the holy mysteries of our redemption, may almighty God release you from all punishments in this life and in the life to come. May he open to you the gates of paradise and welcome you to everlasting joy. (Amen.)”

or:

“By the authority which the Apostolic See has given me, I grant you a full pardon and the remission of all your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit. (Amen.)”

So, to answer your question: yes, the apostolic pardon remits all punishments that Purgatory would purge from a person’s soul. And yes, there would either be the sacrament of Reconciliation immediately preceding the pardon, or the person would have already celebrated the sacrament of Reconciliation recently, prior to the celebration of Viaticum.

Q4 - I did ask an educated Catholic who was under the impression that an Apostolic Pardon forgave all sins including mortal sins?

The intent of the rite is that the sacrament of Reconciliation is celebrated prior to the apostolic pardon. Therefore, the intent of the pardon isn’t to forgive sins, but to remit the punishment due to sin. Implicitly, the forgiveness of sins occurs prior to the pardon.

Q4 - Is the Apostolic Pardon always included in Holy Viaticum when in danger of death and as an official part of the Roman Rite for Holy Viaticum.

It is not a required part of the ritual, and it is at the discretion of the priest. Some priests may be relatively unaware of the apostolic pardon.

Q5 - Is the Sacrament of Reconiliation intrinsic to i.e. part of Holy Viaticum? (or only if the person desires to receive this Sacrament)

It is not a required part of the rite of Viaticum, but it may be celebrated within the context of that rite.

Q6 Is The Apostolic Pardon conditional on freedom from mortal sin?

It is presumed that the person has celebrated Reconciliation, and therefore, there’s no ‘conditional’ nature to it.


#4

Father David, or anyone else here that would know the answer for certain, would an SSPX or sedevacantist priest be able to give the Apostolic Pardon?


#5

[quote="Lormar, post:4, topic:324496"]
Father David, or anyone else here that would know the answer for certain, would an SSPX or sedevacantist priest be able to give the Apostolic Pardon?

[/quote]

Interesting question. In an emergency, any validly ordained priest can absolve sins. The apostolic pardon, though? Wouldn't a sedevacantist assert that there is no valid apostolic see -- and therefore, how could he make recourse to it in order to give the apostolic pardon?


#6

[quote="Gorgias, post:5, topic:324496"]
Interesting question. In an emergency, any validly ordained priest can absolve sins. The apostolic pardon, though? Wouldn't a sedevacantist assert that there is no valid apostolic see -- and therefore, how could he make recourse to it in order to give the apostolic pardon?

[/quote]

I was wondering how a priest receives the faculties for imparting the apostolic pardon, and assume it is from his bishop? Is that correct? Who has received it himself direct from the Holy See?

Well, a sedevacantist would probably tell you that they would go back to Pius XII for the apostolic pardon, but you are right. And if the SSPX are not under the jurisdiction of any bishops (other than their own), where would they get the faculties for giving this pardon?


#7

[quote="Lormar, post:4, topic:324496"]
Father David, or anyone else here that would know the answer for certain, would an SSPX or sedevacantist priest be able to give the Apostolic Pardon?

[/quote]

hmmm......pondering this.

I think not.

A priest who has separated himself from the ordinary life of the Church has no authority to act on behalf of the Church. The Pardon contains the words "And I, by the power given to me by the Holy See..." (words vary by translation and printing, some say "Apostolic See") This is important. The priest is only able to grant the pardon because he has been delegated to do this by the Pope. A priest who is outside of the visible Communion of the Church therefore cannot grant this pardon.

A point to keep in mind though, is that in danger of death, the Church grants special faculties to "every priest" (meaning, of course, every validly ordained priest) to absolve from any and all sins and censures (canon 976). This applies quite literally to every priest, even those suspended, excommunicated, and even those validly ordained outside the Church. This is true even if a qualified priest in-good-standing is readily available. I think it necessary to mention this so that readers can understand that the intent of the Church is "the good of souls" and that the Church would not allow a situation of a person dying without absolution if there is any possibility of that absolution being given.

While the Church grants the faculty to absolve to "any priest" in danger of death, I cannot find anywhere that the Church extends the power to impart the Apostolic Pardon to a priest who is suspended, excommunicated, etc. It might be out there, but if it is, I cannot find it, and that's why I'm inclined to say "no" to your question, but willing to listen if anyone has such proof. The obvious sources, like the Code of Canon Law and *Indulgentiarum Doctrina * do not contain any such provision.

I'm still pondering this though, because we were taught in the seminary that in danger of death, any priest can validly and licitly administer the Last Rites. I don't recall ever hearing that the Apostolic Pardon is excluded from that.

Still thinking about it...


#8

[quote="Lormar, post:6, topic:324496"]
I was wondering how a priest receives the faculties for imparting the apostolic pardon, and assume it is from his bishop? Is that correct? Who has received it himself direct from the Holy See?

[/quote]

It used to be extended to bishops who then usually delegated it to priests. (source: newadvent.org/cathen/04660c.htm#section7)

At the present time, all priests can do this. (source: Pastoral Care of the Sick, no. 243, among others)

Well, a sedevacantist would probably tell you that they would go back to Pius XII for the apostolic pardon, but you are right. And if the SSPX are not under the jurisdiction of any bishops (other than their own), where would they get the faculties for giving this pardon?

If such exists, it would come directly from the Supreme Pontiff.


#9

[quote="FrDavid96, post:7, topic:324496"]
we were taught in the seminary that in danger of death, any priest can validly and licitly administer the Last Rites. I don't recall ever hearing that the Apostolic Pardon is excluded from that.

[/quote]

:hmmm: the 'last rites'? By that, do you mean the anointing of the sick? Viaticum? The Sacrament of Reconciliation?

Canon 976 clearly covers this question with respect to the Sacrament of Reconciliation; canon 1003 seems to address the Anointing of the Sick (although it doesn't go into the depth that the canons on Reconciliation do). But, our discussion is about viaticum (since the apostolic pardon is given within the context of viaticum), and the canons don't address this question. So, when you say 'last rites', are you saying that you were taught that any priest validly celebrates the rite of viaticum? :hmmm:

At the present time, all priests can do this. (source: Pastoral Care of the Sick, no. 243, among others)

243 simply says "at the conclusion of the sacrament of penance or the penitential rite, the priest may give the apostolic pardon for the dying, as described in no. 201", right? If so, it doesn't seem to address the question of the minister of viaticum... :confused:


#10

[quote="Gorgias, post:9, topic:324496"]
:hmmm: the 'last rites'? By that, do you mean the anointing of the sick? Viaticum? The Sacrament of Reconciliation?

[/quote]

well...interesting question...
By "Last Rites" I meant "Last Rites."

See my earlier post

[quote="FrDavid96, post:2, topic:324496"]
...
Many Catholics (surely many non-Catholics) confuse the different words for the rituals at the time of death. Here's a little summary:

When a person is dying, the priest should do the following:

Sacrament of Confession
Sacrament of Anointing (aka Unction) of the Sick
Sacrament of Communion (in this case, called "Viaticum")
Apostolic Pardon at the hour of death

All 4 of these together (again "together) constitute "The Last Rites."

....

[/quote]

I'll get back to that later in the day.

Canon 976 clearly covers this question with respect to the Sacrament of Reconciliation; canon 1003 seems to address the Anointing of the Sick (although it doesn't go into the depth that the canons on Reconciliation do). But, our discussion is about viaticum (since the apostolic pardon is given within the context of viaticum), and the canons don't address this question. So, when you say 'last rites', are you saying that you were taught that any priest validly celebrates the rite of viaticum? :hmmm:

Again, what I meant was what I said.

Now, that might (and clearly does) require some further explanation.
We were taught that in an imminent danger of death situation any priest, even a suspended one, can give the Last Rites.

If you want to narrow that down a bit more and ask specifically about Viaticum (which is one part of the whole of the Last Rites of the Church), then I would say that my "short answer" is "yes."

Let's keep in mind that administering Viaticum is simply giving the Consecrated Host to someone. Now, by "simply" I don't mean to belittle this in any way; instead, I'm just saying that doing so does not require the "character of the priesthood" or even the "character of orders" or jurisdiction, etc. Even a layperson can give Viaticum to the dying (yes, under conditions). So if a never-ordained layperson can give Viaticum, it stands to reason that a laicized priest can do likewise. The Host must have already been consecrated at Mass (of course), so we're not talking about a laicized priest who drives up to an accident scene saying a quick Mass then giving Viaticum.

We can probably discuss this more. For the moment, my answer to your question ("...are you saying that you were taught that any priest validly celebrates the rite of viaticum?") is "yes, but there's more to say about it than just that."

243 simply says "at the conclusion of the sacrament of penance or the penitential rite, the priest may give the apostolic pardon for the dying, as described in no. 201", right? If so, it doesn't seem to address the question of the minister of viaticum... :confused:

OK. But I wasn't addressing a question about the minister of Viaticum.

I was addressing a question asking what priests have the faculties to give the Apostolic Pardon (in other words, is it reserved to bishops, or pastors, or certain religious orders as it apparently had been in the past, according to the 1910 Catholic Encyclopedia).

I think I see what you're getting at though. You're linking the Apostolic Pardon to the Rite of Viaticum. They are linked in the sense that the Pardon is done before Viaticum, and they are certainly linked spiritually. But the difference is that Viaticum does not require that the one administering Communion be a priest, as even a layperson can administer Viaticum (with a Consecrated Host of course); while on the other hand, the Apostolic Pardon does require a priest.

I would say, however, that the Pardon is more attached to the Sacrament of Confession (drawing its efficacy from the Power of the Keys), than it would be to Viaticum. Keeping in mind of course that all of the different parts of the Rites for the Dying are intrinsically linked to each other.

I'm sure there's more to be said on this. I'll be coming back later in the day.


#11

In order to have a conversation about this that makes sense, we have to get the vocabulary straight.

Here's a little primer.

The Last Rites of the Church consist of the following (done all-together) in a situation where the priest reasonably ascertains that the person is at the end of life (ie dying).

The Sacrament of Confession (in at least the minimal form where the priest pronounces absolution "Ego te absolvo..")
The Apostolic Pardon at the Hour of Death
The Sacrament of Unction/Anointing of the Sick
The Sacrament of the Eucharist (in this case called "Viaticum" meaning food for the journey)

What we have to keep in mind here is that the above all together make-up the Last Rites of the Church. Sometimes these can (and indeed are) administered in other situations. As we all know, not everyone who receives Communion is dying.

The term "Last Rites" is often confused and/or interchanged with the term "extreme Unction"---this is a common misconception. The Last Rites always includes the Sacrament of Unction, but the Sacrament of Unction is not always done within the context of the Last Rites. All oaks are trees, but not all trees are oaks.

The Sacrament of Unction can and should be administered to one who is seriously ill, without waiting until the person is actually dying.

However, if it is indeed the case that the person is at the end (extremis) of life, we might add an adjective to describe that particular situation---thus, the word "Unction" becomes the term "extreme Unction." All Anointing is Unction, but we only add the adjective "extreme" when that describes a particular situation. If it is not at the end of life (extremis) then we do not add the adjective.

The two words "Unction" and "Anointing" mean exactly the same thing. They are absolutely and entirely identical in every possible way. I cannot stress this enough---there is no difference between Unction and Anointing. They are simply two words used to render into English a single Latin word "Unctionis." The reason why I cannot stress this enough is that there is a misunderstanding in the English speaking world that there is some difference between Unction and Anointing. There is none. Again, Latin has only one word "Unctionis" whether that word was used in AD 33, 1570, 1953 or 2013. In English, the choice between Unction and Anointing is nothing more than ones arbitrary choice.

more to come later.....


#12

[quote="FrDavid96, post:10, topic:324496"]
well...interesting question...
By "Last Rites" I meant "Last Rites."

See my earlier post

[/quote]

LOL! I'd started my post before you submitted yours, and never saw your original post (nestled before mine) until now...!

I think I see what you're getting at though. You're linking the Apostolic Pardon to the Rite of Viaticum.

Correct. I'm thinking about the rite per se, not the Eucharist itself (distributed as 'viaticum'). The introduction to the rite explicitly discusses the way it uses the term 'priest', 'deacon', and 'minister'; so, to be very specific, it seems that the interesting question has to do with (for example) a laicized priest and the parts of the rite reserved specifically to a 'priest' and not those that allow for a (lay) 'minister.' Most interestingly, that would be the apostolic pardon.

However, if it is indeed the case that the person is at the end (extremis) of life, we might add an adjective to describe that particular situation---thus, the word "Unction" becomes the term "extreme Unction." All Anointing is Unction, but we only add the adjective "extreme" when that describes a particular situation. If it is not at the end of life (extremis) then we do not add the adjective.

Hmm... that would seem to add confusion, since the sacrament now known (in English) as 'the anointing of the sick' used to be known (in English) as 'extreme unction.' In other words, by adding the adjective 'extreme' to the general word 'unction', we risk losing the significance of the adjective and instead seem to be calling to mind the general name of the sacrament as it was identified in the past, don't you think?


#13

[quote="FrDavid96, post:7, topic:324496"]
hmmm......pondering this.

I think not.

A priest who has separated himself from the ordinary life of the Church has no authority to act on behalf of the Church. The Pardon contains the words "And I, by the power given to me by the Holy See..." (words vary by translation and printing, some say "Apostolic See") This is important. The priest is only able to grant the pardon because he has been delegated to do this by the Pope. A priest who is outside of the visible Communion of the Church therefore cannot grant this pardon.

A point to keep in mind though, is that in danger of death, the Church grants special faculties to "every priest" (meaning, of course, every validly ordained priest) to absolve from any and all sins and censures (canon 976). This applies quite literally to every priest, even those suspended, excommunicated, and even those validly ordained outside the Church. This is true even if a qualified priest in-good-standing is readily available. I think it necessary to mention this so that readers can understand that the intent of the Church is "the good of souls" and that the Church would not allow a situation of a person dying without absolution if there is any possibility of that absolution being given.

While the Church grants the faculty to absolve to "any priest" in danger of death, I cannot find anywhere that the Church extends the power to impart the Apostolic Pardon to a priest who is suspended, excommunicated, etc. It might be out there, but if it is, I cannot find it, and that's why I'm inclined to say "no" to your question, but willing to listen if anyone has such proof. The obvious sources, like the Code of Canon Law and Indulgentiarum Doctrina do not contain any such provision.

I'm still pondering this though, because we were taught in the seminary that in danger of death, any priest can validly and licitly administer the Last Rites. I don't recall ever hearing that the Apostolic Pardon is excluded from that.

Still thinking about it...

[/quote]

Just so you know why I am asking, I spent a very long time in both SSPX and sedevacantist chapels before returning to the Church. In all those years, no one ever mentioned the Apostolic Pardon and, in fact, I never heard of it until a few years ago.

IF it is true, as you, Father, seem to think, that these priests would not be able to impart this Apostolic Pardon, it would, to me, almost be Satan getting his last laugh with them. By that I mean, here we have both priests and laity that fled the Church for the faith and the Mass that they think were stolen from them. But, for having done so, they miss their express ticket to Heaven and instead may have to spend much time in Purgatory.

I don't know if I am making myself clear. I have a hard time translating thoughts into words. :o


#14

[quote="Gorgias, post:12, topic:324496"]
LOL! I'd started my post before you submitted yours, and never saw your original post (nestled before mine) until now...!

Correct. I'm thinking about the rite per se, not the Eucharist itself (distributed as 'viaticum'). The introduction to the rite explicitly discusses the way it uses the term 'priest', 'deacon', and 'minister'; so, to be very specific, it seems that the interesting question has to do with (for example) a laicized priest and the parts of the rite reserved specifically to a 'priest' and not those that allow for a (lay) 'minister.' Most interestingly, that would be the apostolic pardon.

[/quote]

OK. You seem to be concentrating too much on the actual ritual itself (the paper pages) for an answer. In "imminent danger of death" certain rules are relaxed for the sake of the good of souls. The Church grants special, temporary faculties to absolve to a laicized priest in that situation. The ritual book isn't going to say the words "the priest says this...a layperson does not...but a laicized priest does..." In that situation, because the laicized priest does have those temporary faculties, he's simply "the priest" no further description of him is needed.

In an other-than danger of death situation, the laicized priest would be numbered among the laity, and the same rubrics would apply as to any other layman. Of course, then the question of the Apostolic Pardon doesn't even come into play.

The real answer to the question "can a suspended/laicized/excommunicated priest impart the Pardon?" is something that just happens not to be addressed in the current documents about the Pardon. In contemporary documents (1972 onward) the Church is simply silent on this.

What would answer the question would be some document (if it indeed exists) where the Supreme Pontiff does in fact say "yes or no" to the question, or an authentic interpretation from the Holy See. If there's a notitiae out there, I don't know about it (which means nothing more than that "I do not know") but I'm still pondering it and still researching.

Hmm... that would seem to add confusion, since the sacrament now known (in English) as 'the anointing of the sick' used to be known (in English) as 'extreme unction.' In other words, by adding the adjective 'extreme' to the general word 'unction', we risk losing the significance of the adjective and instead seem to be calling to mind the general name of the sacrament as it was identified in the past, don't you think?

No. And I'll explain.

Several times in this thread already, you've used the word "Viaticum" to describe a particular situation---that of receiving Holy Communion at the end of life.

We can all accept as a given that the use of that word is acceptable.

Think about this. We don't go around telling people "don't use the word Viaticum" to talk about Communion to the dying, because that might make it seem like everyone who is receiving Communion is at death's door." Surely not. We know the difference between receiving Communion at the Sunday morning Mass and receiving Communion while on ones deathbed.

Why then would we apply that same line of reasoning to the Sacrament of Unction?

Surely, we can add adjectives to a Sacrament to describe particular circumstances--we're quite comfortable doing it with other Sacraments. Why should Unction/Anointing be treated differently?

If we have no objection to the words "Anointing in a Hospital or Institution" (the title of one of the chapters in Pastoral Care), so long as that description is accurate, why should we apply a different standard and say that we should not say "extreme Unction" when we're describing the Sacrament of Unction administered in extremis?

The priority here should not be to eliminate the vocabulary that is so familiar to Catholics in general for the sake of trying to create a false dichotomy--as so many in the 1970s undoubtedly did. How many times have we heard "there's no such thing as extreme Unction, the Church did away with it and replaced it with Anointing of the Sick?" That actually does more to violate the principle of continuity so essential to understanding the authentic teachings of the Vatican II Fathers.


#15

[quote="Lormar, post:13, topic:324496"]
Just so you know why I am asking, I spent a very long time in both SSPX and sedevacantist chapels before returning to the Church. In all those years, no one ever mentioned the Apostolic Pardon and, in fact, I never heard of it until a few years ago.

IF it is true, as you, Father, seem to think, that these priests would not be able to impart this Apostolic Pardon,

[/quote]

First, allow me to clarify.
I think not. At the same time, I'm not absolutely certain.

it would, to me, almost be Satan getting his last laugh with them. By that I mean, here we have both priests and laity that fled the Church for the faith and the Mass that they think were stolen from them. But, for having done so, they miss their express ticket to Heaven and instead may have to spend much time in Purgatory.

I don't know if I am making myself clear. I have a hard time translating thoughts into words. :o

Simply put, they made their choice.

Holy Mother Church is always ready to extend God's infinite mercy to the sinner, which is why the Church is so generous in giving faculties to a priest when the situation is danger of death. But at the same time, the person must be willing to accept that mercy.

After all, what is the priest supposed to say "...by the power given to me by the Apostolic See, which as we all know has been vacant and occupied by a usurper for 50 years...":shrug:

If they want to be forgiven via the Power of the Keys, then they must also be willing to accept the authority and legitimacy of the one who currently holds those Keys. They cannot at the same time embrace the former while rejecting the later.


#16

Father David, thank you. I have one more question.

Is this Apostolic Pardon something new? I honestly never heard of it until a few years ago.


#17

[quote="FrDavid96, post:14, topic:324496"]
What would answer the question would be some document (if it indeed exists) where the Supreme Pontiff does in fact say "yes or no" to the question, or an authentic interpretation from the Holy See. If there's a notitiae out there, I don't know about it (which means nothing more than that "I do not know") but I'm still pondering it and still researching.

[/quote]

Cool. Thanks...!

Why then would we apply that same line of reasoning to the Sacrament of Unction?

Surely, we can add adjectives to a Sacrament to describe particular circumstances--we're quite comfortable doing it with other Sacraments. Why should Unction/Anointing be treated differently?

Because "extreme unction", in people's minds, speaks to a pre-Vatican II notion of the sacrament -- a notion under which anointing only occurred in extremis. In people's minds today, there still exists the idea that anointing is only for end-of-life pastoral care. It seems to me that, when we use the term 'extreme unction', it's perceived as speaking about a sacrament, not as a sacrament in a particular context. Therefore, when we encourage the use of the term -- although it's a grammatically correct usage, and one that is semantically accurate -- we're reinforcing a way of thinking about the sacrament that is no longer appropriate.

However, I can see what you're saying. If your parishioners are accustomed to hearing you talk about 'unction' and 'extreme unction', and are cognizant of the distinctions you're making, then there's no downside to using terminology in that way. My gut feel, though, is that if you asked a Catholic "when does 'anointing of the sick' occur?" and another Catholic "when does 'unction' occur?", you're going to get two different answers. If this is the case, then use of the term 'extreme unction' doesn't help the situation.

Just my two cents... :shrug:

The priority here should not be to eliminate the vocabulary that is so familiar to Catholics in general for the sake of trying to create a false dichotomy

Agreed -- I'm not asserting that we should create a false dichotomy, but just that we should avoid supporting a false conflation of terms... ;)


#18

[quote="Lormar, post:16, topic:324496"]
Father David, thank you. I have one more question.

Is this Apostolic Pardon something new? I honestly never heard of it until a few years ago.

[/quote]

I have no idea how old it is. Since it's referenced in the 1910 Catholic Encyclopedia, it's at least that old.

That something I'm still researching at the moment. If I know which Pope first introduced this, it would (or might) get me closer to finding the answer to your question about what priests can grant it.


#19

[quote="Gorgias, post:17, topic:324496"]
Cool. Thanks...!

Because "extreme unction", in people's minds, speaks to a pre-Vatican II notion of the sacrament -- a notion under which anointing only occurred in extremis. In people's minds today, there still exists the idea that anointing is only for end-of-life pastoral care. It seems to me that, when we use the term 'extreme unction', it's perceived as speaking about a sacrament, not as a sacrament in a particular context. Therefore, when we encourage the use of the term -- although it's a grammatically correct usage, and one that is semantically accurate -- we're reinforcing a way of thinking about the sacrament that is no longer appropriate.

However, I can see what you're saying. If your parishioners are accustomed to hearing you talk about 'unction' and 'extreme unction', and are cognizant of the distinctions you're making, then there's no downside to using terminology in that way. My gut feel, though, is that if you asked a Catholic "when does 'anointing of the sick' occur?" and another Catholic "when does 'unction' occur?", you're going to get two different answers. If this is the case, then use of the term 'extreme unction' doesn't help the situation.

Just my two cents... :shrug:

Agreed -- I'm not asserting that we should create a false dichotomy, but just that we should avoid supporting a false conflation of terms... ;)

[/quote]

The unfortunate reality is that we've now reached the point where we have replaced one inappropriate understanding with another equally inappropriate understanding.

Far too many Catholics today think that the Sacrament of Anointing is for "just anyone"---yes literally. Stories about priests who have what they call (but the Church does not call) "healing Masses" and simply invite anyone to come forward and be anointed are not urban legend. They're very real and they're quite prevalent in the US. I know I can say this because of the number of times I've been asked to do these--and yes, I do inquire if they're asking about something approved or innovated. The Holy See would not have seen fit to address the problem were it not a genuine problem.

How many times have people approached me and asked for the Sacrament of Anointing who are either perfectly healthy, or have the most truly minor ailments? Too many. I kid you not when I say that I've been asked to do it for a simple cut finger not even big enough for a bandage---and not jokingly either (sure, that happens too!).

I think it's time we begin to say "Anointing of the Sick? that's a 1970s thing and the Church has moved on from that." And I'm completely serious about that. In the word "Unction" we have the perfect English-language solution to the problem.

Personally, I use both words. Not just here on CAF, but in my pastoral life. And I do it with the catechesis that we do indeed have the same Sacrament that we had before Vatican II, just different rubrics.

Maybe the word unction is not exactly the perfect solution, but the fact is that we need some solution to the very real problem of excessively (and I do believe invalidly) performing anointing on just about everyone.


#20

balance balance balance

Fr, you seem well-balanced in your ministry and quite good at catechizing. Excellent posts.


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