Several years ago, after several decades in nursing care and shortly before she died, my grandmother requested to see a priest for confession. She had been away from the Church for quite some time. For whatever reason, my grandmother finally after all those years, wanted to make a confession to a priest. Without going into any detail, I will suffice it to say that there were some things she wanted to be absolved of which were weighing heavily on her conscience. My mother contacted a priest at her parish and asked him to visit her mother for confession. When the priest went to see her, he told my grandmother that since she had been in nursing care for so many years, she could not possibly have anything that would require absolution and refused to hear her confession! She was so crushed that this priest would refuse her the sacrament that she never tried again. My question is this-- Is it possible that she was absolved due to her intent and desire to make a confession, even though the priest refused to hear her confession?
If the priest annointed your grandmother, her sins were forgiven by the sacrament of the anointing of the sick and all temporal punishment due to sin was also removed. But if he didn’t absolve her or anoint her, her intention was the be absolved. If that didn’t happen, it was not her fault. God IS merciful.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.