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Vatican demands end to anointings with "oil of gladness"

October 13, 2008

In a sharply worded message to the head of the South African bishops' conference, the Congregation for Divine Worship has called for an end to the widespread practice of anointing people with the "oil of gladness" in unauthorized Catholic rituals. Archbishop Albert Ranjith, the secretary of the Vatican Congregation, pointed out in a letter to Cardinal Wilfrid Napier that "there are only three blessed oils used in the Roman Ritual, namely, the Oil of Catechumens, the Oil of the Sick, and the Sacred Chrism. The use of any other oil or any other 'anointing' than those found in the approved liturgical books must be considered proscribed and subject to ecclesiastical penalties." He asked the South African prelate to report back to Rome on actions taken to end the abuse.


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