Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

in articulo mortis

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jan 08, 2006

Vision Book Cover Prints

Flipping through the latest edition (4th, 1999) of the Handbook of Indulgences, I came across the Twelfth Grant, concerning the indulgence to be gained at the point of death:

A priest who administers the sacraments in circumstances where death is imminent should not fail to impart the Apostolic Blessing with the attached plenary indulgence. But if a priest is not to be found, Holy Mother Church lovingly grants, to such faithful as are properly disposed, a plenary indulgence to be acquired at the point of death ... In such a case, the Church supplies for the three conditions ordinarily required for a plenary indulgence. In these circumstances, the use of a crucifix or a cross in obtaining the plenary indulgence is commendable.

"But if a priest is not to be found ..." Given the likelihood that an increasing percentage of us will die in health care facilities in which the "pastoral staff," if there is one at all, will be composed of Lay Ecclesial Ministers of sundry denominational affiliations, this is not an unimportant concession. The section concludes:

The catechesis of the faithful must ensure that they are duly made aware and frequently reminded of this salutary benefaction of the Church.

Duly made aware. Frequently reminded. Just curious: how many of you have ever heard this instruction from the pulpit?

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