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Anglican given Catholic Last Rites. - Printable Version

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Anglican given Catholic Last Rites. - FultonFan - 08-30-2019

I had a family member die about a year ago.
This person was Anglican, and married a Catholic in the Catholic Church.
The marriage was probably in the early 1950’s approximate.
As the couple aged, it’s my understanding the Anglican party started resuming to attend Anglican services.
Once the Catholic party died, I know fairly certainly the Anglican party went regularly to Anglican services.
Once this person got into their early 90’s or late 80’s or so, the mental state clearly started deteriorating (memory issues, some personality changes), and it appears this person didn’t attend any Church.

On their death bed, this person was given Catholic Last Rites.
However, to my knowledge, there was no Confession.
Also, the Bishop came into the room when this person was essentially in a coma, and I believe gave him the Apostolic blessing. (However, I’m not certain, however it appeared to certainly be in Latin).

Objectively speaking: can we have any assurance that this person died likely in a state of grace?


RE: Anglican given Catholic Last Rites. - SeekerofChrist - 08-30-2019

(08-30-2019, 10:49 AM)FultonFan Wrote: I had a family member die about a year ago.
This person was Anglican, and married a Catholic in the Catholic Church.
The marriage was probably in the early 1950’s approximate.
As the couple aged, it’s my understanding the Anglican party started resuming to attend Anglican services.
Once the Catholic party died, I know fairly certainly the Anglican party went regularly to Anglican services.
Once this person got into their early 90’s or late 80’s or so, the mental state clearly started deteriorating (memory issues, some personality changes), and it appears this person didn’t attend any Church.

On their death bed, this person was given Catholic Last Rites.
However, to my knowledge, there was no Confession.
Also, the Bishop came into the room when this person was essentially in a coma, and I believe gave him the Apostolic blessing. (However, I’m not certain, however it appeared to certainly be in Latin).

Objectively speaking: can we have any assurance that this person died likely in a state of grace?

Interesting series of events.  Why was an Anglican given the last rites in a traditional form by, of all things, a Catholic bishop?  Is it possible that maybe he or she had, in a moment of lucidity, requested a Catholic priest with the intent of converting?  If something like that were the case, I'd say you can have great hope (not really assurance) that this family member died in a state of grace.  As for there being no Confession, IIRC, if a person is unable to speak (like in a coma) then absolution can be given during the last rites without a confession of sins.

If these last rites were done by mistake, that is, this person did not request them and, for whatever reason, the bishop showed up and performed them anyway, I can't really say what kind of hope you might be able to have.  Perhaps God did use it as a means to save this person's soul.  Regardless, there is nothing wrong with having hope that somehow, your family member did die in a state of grace.  I'm not sure if I've ever heard a situation quite like this one.  King Charles II of England was an Anglican who converted to Catholicism on his deathbed (a day or two before expiring).


RE: Anglican given Catholic Last Rites. - redneckpride4ever - 08-30-2019

Objectively, we can't be certain about anyone, excluding saints, venerable, etc.

Someone who appears the most pious Catholic can withthold, for example, a murder they committed.

Whenever someone passes I leave it in God's hands and pray for them. Worst case scenario, my prayers will help someone in Purgatory.

I'd personally talk with an orthodox (small o) priest and be honest. Questions like quality of catechesis, culpability and such can be best answered in a one on one talk easier than typing via forum.

I will definitely add this person to my prayer intentions regardless.


RE: Anglican given Catholic Last Rites. - FultonFan - 08-30-2019

(08-30-2019, 11:49 AM)SeekerofChrist Wrote:
(08-30-2019, 10:49 AM)FultonFan Wrote: I had a family member die about a year ago.
This person was Anglican, and married a Catholic in the Catholic Church.
The marriage was probably in the early 1950’s approximate.
As the couple aged, it’s my understanding the Anglican party started resuming to attend Anglican services.
Once the Catholic party died, I know fairly certainly the Anglican party went regularly to Anglican services.
Once this person got into their early 90’s or late 80’s or so, the mental state clearly started deteriorating (memory issues, some personality changes), and it appears this person didn’t attend any Church.

On their death bed, this person was given Catholic Last Rites.
However, to my knowledge, there was no Confession.
Also, the Bishop came into the room when this person was essentially in a coma, and I believe gave him the Apostolic blessing. (However, I’m not certain, however it appeared to certainly be in Latin).

Objectively speaking: can we have any assurance that this person died likely in a state of grace?

Interesting series of events.  Why was an Anglican given the last rites in a traditional form by, of all things, a Catholic bishop?  Is it possible that maybe he or she had, in a moment of lucidity, requested a Catholic priest with the intent of converting?  If something like that were the case, I'd say you can have great hope (not really assurance) that this family member died in a state of grace.  As for there being no Confession, IIRC, if a person is unable to speak (like in a coma) then absolution can be given during the last rites without a confession of sins.

If these last rites were done by mistake, that is, this person did not request them and, for whatever reason, the bishop showed up and performed them anyway, I can't really say what kind of hope you might be able to have.  Perhaps God did use it as a means to save this person's soul.  Regardless, there is nothing wrong with having hope that somehow, your family member did die in a state of grace.  I'm not sure if I've ever heard a situation quite like this one.  King Charles II of England was an Anglican who converted to Catholicism on his deathbed (a day or two before expiring).

This person was starting to show serious dementia, and was really not at all religious in the final years.
As for why the Last Rites were given by a priest, and then an additional prayer by a Bishop.
Well, because I personally asked for it.
I asked the pastoral people at the hospital for a Catholic to administer Last Rites.
I then literally just happened to meet the Bishop in the entrance to the hospital. I asked him to come up for a prayer/blessing, which he graciously did.
Then, finally, as my loved one was in the final moments of live (viz. doing the really laboured breathing thing), we had a third priest come in, really just to pray and be there.
As the priest entered the doorway, my loved one seemed to open his eyes towards the door, in a strange moment of lucidity.
After some prayers, the priest then began singing a hymn (which I think is actually a Protestant Hymn).
With the last words, something like “calling, O sinner, come home...” probably five seconds passed and my loved ones breathing slowed dramatically, and in a few moments stopped completely. Then they died.
The room was in complete awe.


RE: Anglican given Catholic Last Rites. - SeekerofChrist - 08-30-2019

(08-30-2019, 12:09 PM)FultonFan Wrote: This person was starting to show serious dementia, and was really not at all religious in the final years.
As for why the Last Rites were given by a priest, and then an additional prayer by a Bishop.
Well, because I personally asked for it.
I asked the pastoral people at the hospital for a Catholic to administer Last Rites.
I then literally just happened to meet the Bishop in the entrance to the hospital. I asked him to come up for a prayer/blessing, which he graciously did.
Then, finally, as my loved one was in the final moments of live (viz. doing the really laboured breathing thing), we had a third priest come in, really just to pray and be there.
As the priest entered the doorway, my loved one seemed to open his eyes towards the door, in a strange moment of lucidity.
After some prayers, the priest then began singing a hymn (which I think is actually a Protestant Hymn).
With the last words, something like “calling, O sinner, come home...” probably five seconds passed and my loved ones breathing slowed dramatically, and in a few moments stopped completely. Then they died.
The room was in complete awe.

Amazing.  Thank you for sharing this.  I can say that your family member had a better chance of dying in a state of grace than your average Protestant, simply because you asked for a Catholic priest.  That moment of lucidity could very well have been a gift from God so that your family member could respond to the grace that He was offering to him.  While some might be dismissive, what you describe above is too much for me to chalk up to coincidence.


RE: Anglican given Catholic Last Rites. - FultonFan - 08-30-2019

(08-30-2019, 12:47 PM)SeekerofChrist Wrote:
(08-30-2019, 12:09 PM)FultonFan Wrote: This person was starting to show serious dementia, and was really not at all religious in the final years.
As for why the Last Rites were given by a priest, and then an additional prayer by a Bishop.
Well, because I personally asked for it.
I asked the pastoral people at the hospital for a Catholic to administer Last Rites.
I then literally just happened to meet the Bishop in the entrance to the hospital. I asked him to come up for a prayer/blessing, which he graciously did.
Then, finally, as my loved one was in the final moments of live (viz. doing the really laboured breathing thing), we had a third priest come in, really just to pray and be there.
As the priest entered the doorway, my loved one seemed to open his eyes towards the door, in a strange moment of lucidity.
After some prayers, the priest then began singing a hymn (which I think is actually a Protestant Hymn).
With the last words, something like “calling, O sinner, come home...” probably five seconds passed and my loved ones breathing slowed dramatically, and in a few moments stopped completely. Then they died.
The room was in complete awe.

Amazing.  Thank you for sharing this.  I can say that your family member had a better chance of dying in a state of grace than your average Protestant, simply because you asked for a Catholic priest.  That moment of lucidity could very well have been a gift from God so that your family member could respond to the grace that He was offering to him.  While some might be dismissive, what you describe above is too much for me to chalk up to coincidence.

You’re welcome.

It really was incredible to observe.
There were a lot of family in the room — none of whom were particularly religious.
However, many couldn’t stop talking about what they’d just observed after it happened.

I feel like, in some sense, I made some reparation for the damage I’d done to my loved one’s Faith.  For about 7 years approx., I had fallen away from the Church, and was an obnoxious, staunch Calvinist. It wasn’t until just before our wedding in 2014 that God — through His abundant grace — started peeling back the prideful layers of my “fundamentalist” facade, and started bringing me home to the Church. In the years previous, I’d filled my loved ones’ mind with all sorts of falsehood while he was still of sound mind. Thankfully, I don’t think he took what I said too seriously.

Hopefully, by God operating through his anointed priests, my loved one saved his soul.


RE: Anglican given Catholic Last Rites. - MagisterMusicae - 08-30-2019

Without having renounced his schism, it would be a fundamental violation of Church and Moral law for a priest to administer any Sacrament to a non-Catholic.

Certainly a priest could pray for such a soul, give a blessing, and try to get the person to make a good act of contrition, or even enter the Church through a more informal means. Perhaps this happened in some way here.

The Sacraments are not magical acts. They give grace so long the person is properly disposed. When the person is not objectively so disposed, the Sacraments cannot be given.