Please help: Two mortal sin related questions.
#1
1.  My grandfather is in palliative care.  He is 93 years old, and is going downhill pretty quick.  He has an advanced stomach cancer, and some clear dementia.  Last night we called the priest for the Last Rites.  He's very weak, and didn't confess any sins, and didn't take Holy Communion (his ability to swallow seems to be very weak at this point).  However, he DID manage to say to the priest that he'd like the Last Rites.  The Last Rites were administered, and it was rather beautiful.  He told my mother that he "felt at peace" now.  Anyway, this morning, he's doing very well physically.  He's even up in a chair watching TV.  My question is: did we potentially give the Rites too quickly?  Is someone with apparent dementia even capable of committing sin at this point?  I'm just fearful we've acted to quickly here in requesting the Sacrament.

2.  This next question may be kind of silly, but I want to ask anyway.  I have an app. on my phone to order Tim Hortons coffees in advance, so that they're ready for you when you arrive.  Anyway, there's a feature on your phone that makes me press "I'm not driving" before I can use it.  I took out the phone while driving, pressed the button, and then passed it to my wife to make the order.  Is this a mortal sin?  I technically lied to my phone, and I guess for a brief moment I was a distracted driver.  Does this sound like something needing confession?
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#2
It's common for the elderly to receive Last Rites several times as they languish and recover, languish and recover, sometimes several times.

As for your phone lie...was it grave matter?
Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the antichrist. 
The demons of the air together with the Antichrist will perform great wonders  
The Church will be in eclipse

-Our Lady of La Salette


Like Christ, His Bride the Church will undergo its own passion, burial, and resurrection.
-unknown traditional priest

Father Ripperger said that if we are detached from all things, aren't afraid to suffer, and we accept all suffering as the will of God for our sanctity, we have nothing to fear!
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#3
(07-31-2018, 09:45 AM)FultonFan Wrote: 1.  My grandfather is in palliative care.  He is 93 years old, and is going downhill pretty quick.  He has an advanced stomach cancer, and some clear dementia.  Last night we called the priest for the Last Rites.  He's very weak, and didn't confess any sins, and didn't take Holy Communion (his ability to swallow seems to be very weak at this point).  However, he DID manage to say to the priest that he'd like the Last Rites.  The Last Rites were administered, and it was rather beautiful.  He told my mother that he "felt at peace" now.  Anyway, this morning, he's doing very well physically.  He's even up in a chair watching TV.  My question is: did we potentially give the Rites too quickly?  Is someone with apparent dementia even capable of committing sin at this point?  I'm just fearful we've acted to quickly here in requesting the Sacrament.

First off, glad to hear he's doing better and at peace.  I'm not a theologian, but I'm inclined to say no, you didn't give Last Rites/Extreme Unction too quickly.  The intent is for it to be given to those who are gravely ill and face possible death.  Vox has a great section on it here.  

Regarding the question on dementia, I think the individual's capability to sin would depend upon the severity of their dementia, as sin requires full knowledge and consent.  

Quote:2.  This next question may be kind of silly, but I want to ask anyway.  I have an app. on my phone to order Tim Hortons coffees in advance, so that they're ready for you when you arrive.  Anyway, there's a feature on your phone that makes me press "I'm not driving" before I can use it.  I took out the phone while driving, pressed the button, and then passed it to my wife to make the order.  Is this a mortal sin?  I technically lied to my phone, and I guess for a brief moment I was a distracted driver.  Does this sound like something needing confession?

Interesting thought.  I don't think that's a mortal sin, although the possibility of being a distracted driver is a concern.  Mostly, I'm just a tad envious that I can't get Tim Horton's down here. :D
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#4
(07-31-2018, 09:45 AM)FultonFan Wrote: 1.  My grandfather is in palliative care.  He is 93 years old, and is going downhill pretty quick.  He has an advanced stomach cancer, and some clear dementia.  Last night we called the priest for the Last Rites.  He's very weak, and didn't confess any sins, and didn't take Holy Communion (his ability to swallow seems to be very weak at this point).  However, he DID manage to say to the priest that he'd like the Last Rites.  The Last Rites were administered, and it was rather beautiful.  He told my mother that he "felt at peace" now.  Anyway, this morning, he's doing very well physically.  He's even up in a chair watching TV.  My question is: did we potentially give the Rites too quickly?  Is someone with apparent dementia even capable of committing sin at this point?  I'm just fearful we've acted to quickly here in requesting the Sacrament.

It is, in my opinion, an odd practice that the Latin tradition reserves holy unction to near death.  Regardless, if all evidence indicated that your grandfather was near death, there wasn't anything inappropriate about him receiving last rites.  It sounds as if you had no way of knowing that he would recover some the next day.  Just as you had no way of knowing he would be better this morning, you have no way of knowing, God forbid, that he will still be alive this evening.  If he has dementia and is apparently unable to sin, all the more reason to cleanse his soul if he's able to give even the slightest lucid desire for reconciliation with God.  I can't see anything wrong with what happened, and I doubt you will find any orthodox priest who will disagree.
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#5
So sorry to hear that about your grandfather FultonFan, but I'm glad to hear he felt at peace after the sacrament. I'm also not an expert but I don't think you gave last rite too quickly, and you can always have a priest in again when needed.

As for your second one, I wouldn't worry. You can't lie to your phone. And pressing a button and handing over a phone is only sinful if it caused you to be SO distracted that you seriously endangered yourself or others, such a small action hardly constitutes that.
"If your heart comes to feel a natural hatred for sin, it has defeated the causes of sin and freed itself from them. Keep hell’s torments in mind; but know that your Helper is at hand. Do nothing that will grieve Him, but say to Him with tears: ‘Be merciful and deliver me, O Lord, for without Thy help I cannot escape from the hands of my enemies.’ Be attentive to your heart, and He will guard you from all evil."

- St. Isaias the Solitary

"Constant action overcomes cold; being still overcomes heat. Purity
and stillness give the correct law to all under heaven."

- Tao Te Ching 45
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#6
(07-31-2018, 10:04 AM)Sacred Heart lover Wrote: It's common for the elderly to receive Last Rites several times as they languish and recover, languish and recover, sometimes several times.

As for your phone lie...was it grave matter?

I'm not sure.. was it?
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#7
(07-31-2018, 10:16 AM)FultonFan Wrote:
(07-31-2018, 10:04 AM)Sacred Heart lover Wrote: It's common for the elderly to receive Last Rites several times as they languish and recover, languish and recover, sometimes several times.

As for your phone lie...was it grave matter?

I'm not sure.. was it?

Did you text back and forth for 10 minutes while careening down the road at 50 mph?

Or did you press one button and hand your wife the phone?
Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the antichrist. 
The demons of the air together with the Antichrist will perform great wonders  
The Church will be in eclipse

-Our Lady of La Salette


Like Christ, His Bride the Church will undergo its own passion, burial, and resurrection.
-unknown traditional priest

Father Ripperger said that if we are detached from all things, aren't afraid to suffer, and we accept all suffering as the will of God for our sanctity, we have nothing to fear!
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#8
(07-31-2018, 10:22 AM)Sacred Heart lover Wrote:
(07-31-2018, 10:16 AM)FultonFan Wrote:
(07-31-2018, 10:04 AM)Sacred Heart lover Wrote: It's common for the elderly to receive Last Rites several times as they languish and recover, languish and recover, sometimes several times.

As for your phone lie...was it grave matter?

I'm not sure.. was it?

Did you text back and forth for 10 minutes while careening down the road at 50 mph?

Or did you press one button and hand your wife the phone?

I did the latter.  Thank you for the clarification :D

And thank you to everyone for your answers and kind words, it's much appreciated!
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#9
Sure.  I can overthink things sometimes too.  It does help to get another perspective. :)
Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the antichrist. 
The demons of the air together with the Antichrist will perform great wonders  
The Church will be in eclipse

-Our Lady of La Salette


Like Christ, His Bride the Church will undergo its own passion, burial, and resurrection.
-unknown traditional priest

Father Ripperger said that if we are detached from all things, aren't afraid to suffer, and we accept all suffering as the will of God for our sanctity, we have nothing to fear!
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#10
Also, not all lies are mortal sins. They have to actual cause injury to another party. 

As an example, if your friend asked you to hang out tonight and you say you a family get together and can't make it, meanwhile you're planning just on staying home and watching TV. While you lied, your lie doesn't really injure anyone. It would be considered a venial sin, not mortal. Granted, I don't don't think it would be considered sinful at all to lie to a machine.

Here's a pretty clear explanation from the Summa (I know sometimes Summa explanations can make one's head spin!)


Quote:I answer that, A mortal sin is, properly speaking, one that is contrary to charity whereby the soul lives in union with God, as stated above (II-II:24:12; II-II:35:3). Now a lie may be contrary to charity in three ways: first, in itself; secondly, in respect of the evil intended; thirdly, accidentally.

A lie may be in itself contrary to charity by reason of its false signification.

For if this be about divine things, it is contrary to the charity of God, whose truth one hides or corrupts by such a lie; so that a lie of this kind is opposed not only to the virtue of charity, but also to the virtues of faith and religion: wherefore it is a most grievous and a mortal sin.

If, however, the false signification be about something the knowledge of which affects a man's good, for instance if it pertain to the perfection of science or to moral conduct, a lie of this description inflicts an injury on one's neighbor, since it causes him to have a false opinion, wherefore it is contrary to charity, as regards the love of our neighbor, and consequently is a mortal sin.

On the other hand, if the false opinion engendered by the lie be about some matter the knowledge of which is of no consequence, then the lie in question does no harm to one's neighbor; for instance, if a person be deceived as to some contingent particulars that do not concern him. Wherefore a lie of this kind, considered in itself, is not a mortal sin.


As regards the end in view, a lie may be contrary to charity, through being told with the purpose of injuring God, and this is always a mortal sin, for it is opposed to religion;

or in order to injure one's neighbor, in his person, his possessions or his good name, and this also is a mortal sin, since it is a mortal sin to injure one's neighbor, and one sins mortally if one has merely the intention of committing a mortal sin.

But if the end intended be not contrary to charity, neither will the lie, considered under this aspect, be a mortal sin, as in the case of a jocose lie, where some little pleasure is intended, or in an officious lie, where the good also of one's neighbor is intended.

Accidentally a lie may be contrary to charity by reason of scandal or any other injury resulting therefrom: and thus again it will be a mortal sin, for instance if a man were not deterred through scandal from lying publicly.

I think to summarize for a lie regarding non-religious matters to be a mortal sin, one has to intentionally deceive regarding some sort of knowledge, fact, or in terms of moral conduct whereby the person understands some known falsehood/evil to be as truth/good or have an end where one intends to injure someone, whether their reputation (especially by gossip), possessions (e.g., causing someone to lose money), causing someone disdain towards another, etc.
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