My ministry is in the hospitals. Can Catholics who are not in communion with the Church receive the Sacrament of the Sick? These are Catholics who no longer attend Church, have not received the Sacrament of Penance for a very long time, often are in marriages not in line with Catholic teaching, or have just fallen away. I am confused because the Priest Chaplain does give the Sacrament of Sick to them telling me that the Sacrament forgives their sins. Yes of course it does. But I don’t think it replaces the need for the Sacrament of Penance. I am hoping I am wrong because I like this Priest. But if I am right in thinking that the Sacrament of the Sick shouldn’t be given to those not in communion with the Church, then I don’t want to participate in presenting the possibility of their receiving the Sacrament bring harm to myself and to them.
I hope I have explained well.