Protestant Chaplain Blessing Hands


#1

My husband is a nurse in a facility run by the United Church of Christ. They have a new chaplain, a UCC woman minister. The new chaplain is going to come around and bless the hands of the nurses and aides individually. The director of nursing will be with her. We're thinking no, not gonna happen. What does the Church teach about this sort of thing?


#2

[quote="oremus, post:1, topic:325257"]
My husband is a nurse in a facility run by the United Church of Christ. They have a new chaplain, a UCC woman minister. The new chaplain is going to come around and bless the hands of the nurses and aides individually. The director of nursing will be with her. We're thinking no, not gonna happen. What does the Church teach about this sort of thing?

[/quote]

What are you trying to say by this statement? I'm honestly confused.

They are not blessing the patients, according to you, but the staff. Unless I am missing something or you left out a part

It is a UCC facility and UCC allow women ministers, and Protestant ministers do bless other Protestants. If you're objecting to that, IMO, it's no different than a Jewish patient in a Catholic nursing home concerned that they have daily Mass.

If you don't want your husband "exposed" to Protestant practices, you do have the right to have the non-Catholic chaplaincy staff to stay away.

As far as what the Church teaches, it does not to my knowledge, prohibit Catholics and Protestants from praying with each other, or for each other. Since a blessing is usually a request for God's abundance to poured out on another individual, I don't see this is a big issue

--- but I am sure if I am wrong, I will be severely corrected and castigated on this forum, and my orthodoxy called into question ;)

God bless to you and your husband


#3

[quote="coachdennis, post:2, topic:325257"]
What are you trying to say by this statement? I'm honestly confused.

They are not blessing the patients, according to you, but the staff. Unless I am missing something or you left out a part

It is a UCC facility and UCC allow women ministers, and Protestant ministers do bless other Protestants. If you're objecting to that, IMO, it's no different than a Jewish patient in a Catholic nursing home concerned that they have daily Mass.

If you don't want your husband "exposed" to Protestant practices, you do have the right to have the non-Catholic chaplaincy staff to stay away.

As far as what the Church teaches, it does not to my knowledge, prohibit Catholics and Protestants from praying with each other, or for each other. Since a blessing is usually a request for God's abundance to poured out on another individual, I don't see this is a big issue

--- but I am sure if I am wrong, I will be severely corrected and castigated on this forum, and my orthodoxy called into question ;)

God bless to you and your husband

[/quote]

By my statement "not gonna happen," I mean that my husband will not let them bless his hands using whatever oil they use. Sorry that part wasn't more clear.

I did state that they were blessing the hands of nurses and aides. Nowhere did I say residents.

Why would we object to a minister blessing other protestants?

All I wanted to know is what the Church teaches specifically about receiving this type of blessing from a protestant minister.


#4

Generally speaking, Catholics do not participate in religious ceremonies performed by a Protestant minister.

  1. Because we don't generally believe they have the power to do those things, not being properly ordained.

  2. Because a lot of times, we don't believe the same things about what they're trying to do, even if they use the same words.

  3. Because even if they do have that power in a valid but illicit way, they are not in communion with us, so it would be living a lie to pretend that they are.

So yeah, your husband shouldn't attend, because refusing to be "blessed" would be awkward.


#5

[quote="oremus, post:3, topic:325257"]
By my statement "not gonna happen," I mean that my husband will not let them bless his hands using whatever oil they use. Sorry that part wasn't more clear.

I did state that they were blessing the hands of nurses and aides. Nowhere did I say residents.

Why would we object to a minister blessing other protestants?

All I wanted to know is what the Church teaches specifically about receiving this type of blessing from a protestant minister.

[/quote]

Sorry for the misunderstanding --- too little coffee in the morning!

As an employee he should not be forced to participate and opt out if he feels uncomfortable, regardless of what the church's teaching is on this matter


#6

Would you allow a UCC minister to pray for your husband? If your opinion of UCC "blessings" is that they are nothing more than prayers (that is, that the minister has no "power" to "bless"), then what is preventing you from letting the UCC minister perform her "blessing"/prayer for your husband?


#7

I would say that if I was in that position I would talk to my supervisor and explain that I could not participate "on religious grounds" and ask for his understanding.


#8

[quote="corsair, post:7, topic:325257"]
I would say that if I was in that position I would talk to my supervisor and explain that I could not participate "on religious grounds" and ask for his understanding.

[/quote]

I would ask my pastor or spiritual director first.


#9

Is it possible to simply say, "thank you but I'd rather not?"


#10

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.