National Catholic Reporter

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Sacraments

Preview: Anointing of the sick fosters awareness of the ill in our midst

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Most people associate the sacrament of anointing of the sick with a priest visiting a dying person in a hospital bed.

But the sacrament goes beyond this typical concept. According to the Catholic church's 1983 instruction on the sacrament, the optimal place to receive the rite is during Mass itself, when church members can participate. There is also room for interpretation as to who can and should receive the sacrament.

Maybe it's time to bring the church to the people

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In recent years, it seems there has been an effort to make it harder for the faithful to participate and receive the sacramental actions of the church. One example would be the denial of Communion to politicians with certain views as well as the denial of Communion to divorced and remarried Catholics. Another example would be the refusal to provide general absolution for parishioners even during the Christmas and Easter seasons.

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In This Issue

September 12-25, 2014

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