Washington Post, homosexual patient, plus many, many readers obviously have no idea what is required for a “good” confession

lastchance

A Catholic chaplain at MedStar Washington Hospital Center stopped delivering a 63-year-old heart attack patient Communion prayers and last rites after the man said he was gay, the patient said Wednesday, describing a dramatic bedside scene starting with him citing Pope Francis and ending with him swearing at the cleric.

Details of the exchange this month between the Rev. Brian Coelho and retired travel agent Ronald Plishka couldn’t be confirmed with the priest, who did not respond to a direct e-mail or to requests left with the hospital and the archdiocese.

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Once a Catholic, always a Catholic – you hope!

One of the sweet things about being a priest is being able to minister at a person’s deathbed. The veil between this world and the next is very thin at that point, and you can see so much. When I say you can “see” so much what I mean is that so much is revealed. At that point the person who is dying is usually very vulnerable and open. Their worldly facade is fading. Their accomplishments and pride are forgotten. They realize that all the stuff of this world will soon be left behind.

Often the person is quietly sleeping. The family is gathered around and there is no response as the last rites are given. On the other hand, sometimes the process is very conscious. More than once I’ve been called to visit a man or woman who has called the parish office specifically because they know they are dying and they want to see a Catholic priest.

So I once made my way to a small apartment in a not so good part of town. I was admitted to find a man in his sixties with a haggard expression gasping for air. Call him Ralph.

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A woman is trapped in the wreckage of a horrific car crash. Then a Catholic priest who had anointing oil with him, arrived.

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“He came up and approached the patient, and offered a prayer,” New London Fire Chief Raymond Reed told KHQA-TV. “It was a Catholic priest who had anointing oil with him. A sense of calmness came over her, and it did us as well.”

Considering how many people were at the scene and interacting with the mystery faith leader, the story is a fascinating one.

“I can’t be for certain how it was said, but myself and another firefighter, we very plainly heard that we should remain calm, that our tools would now work and that we would get her out of that vehicle,” the firefighter added.

Now here’s where things get weird.

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Editor’s note: These things happen way more often than most people think. Here’s another short, illustrated, real-life, personal story.

God loves you. God will provide – and that often means answering frantic prayers with just the right person, for the job. All we can do in the mean time, is try not to mess things up too badly – and/or too often – since God’s ways are not our ways – and it’s never wise to act recklessly or presumptuously.

It’s also always a good idea to say a quick prayer for anyone who you might notice, happens to be in distress, may have been injured, may be very near death, or has recently died.

One more thing … thank God for priests. The vast majority of priests are nice guys who are just trying to do God’s work, under what usually turns out to be very difficult circumstances. Priests are at their best – and are most appreciated  – when they are attending to the souls of those who are literally, staring death in the face. Those who have been there will, I am sure, agree.

James 5:14-15 Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. (15) And the prayer of faith shall save the sick man. And the Lord shall raise him up: and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him.

Additional related links:

A last chance for lost souls

Anointing of the Sick, Last Sacraments, and the Apostolic Pardon

What Are “Last Rites”?

Priest’s Heroic Battle Action

Priests Prevented From Anointing Boston Marathon Bombing Victims

Three kinds of holy oil/chrism

Saint Padre Pio and the Angels

Father Z on the Apostolic Pardon: Why don’t more priests administer it to the dying?

The Apostolic Pardon, or Benediction, forgives temporal punishment due to our sins, not the sins themselves.  If anything remains from our lives, provided we die in the state of grace, for which we have not done adequate penance is forgiven us through the Apostolic Pardon.

This is why the Apostolic Pardon is often given after the Last Rites of sacraments of penance, anointing, and Viaticum.

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Anointing of the Sick, Last Sacraments, and the Apostolic Pardon

A last chance for lost souls


*** Click on picture to enlarge ***

The Lord is kind and merciful. Slow to anger.
Always willing to forgive.

Even a life-long, habitual sinner may have a “golden” opportunity, near the end of life, to make a final, good faith effort at repentance, since old age, illness, or infirmity often make it impractical to persist in a sinful lifestyle.

The end of a relationship, or the imminent death of a life partner may provide the necessary “window of opportunity” for repentance and conversion.

And near the end, it really doesn’t matter whether the person who was “living in sin” is gay or straight, since pretty much the same rules apply to all.

Absolution for sin is typically available in these types of cases, through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, so long as all known sins are confessed, authentic contrition is present (even if based primarily on the fear of hell) and a firm purpose of amendment exists.

When a person is very near death, the old, thorny and difficult issues of repentance virtually fade into irrelevance, while the process of genuine reconciliation with God, takes on crucial and strategic importance.

In short, when death is very near, the Church makes it as easy as possible for us sinners (and yes, even hypocrites) to be finally and fully reconciled with God.  Any Catholic priest will confirm this.

Virtually every family has someone in it who might “fall” into this category, so don’t pass up a last-minute opportunity to snatch an otherwise lost soul from Satan’s grasp. Make up your mind to become your loved ones best spiritual advocate … in these types of situations … even if it hurts!

God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness …
Don’t let your loved ones depart this existence without it!

What Are “Last Rites”?

Q: What Are “Last Rites”?

A: Catholicism has always been a very practical faith, with grace giving sacraments that are appropriate for every key aspect of our human existence, including death.

Those who are ill, or in danger of death, benefit from the sacraments of Anointing, Reconciliation, and Holy Communion, which are often accompanied by a special type of indulgence, called the Apostolic Pardon.

The Apostolic Pardon  (Apostolic Blessing) must be administered by a priest. The pardon does not forgive sins. It typically makes time in Purgatory unnecessary. Many of today’s priests don’t routinely administer the Pardon, so you may need to specifically request it. I suggest you print it out and keep a copy nearby.

Here’s the text:

By the Faculty which the Apostolic See has given me, I grant you a plenary indulgence for the remission of all your sins, and I bless you. In the Name of the Father and the Son + and the Holy Sprit. Amen.

Receipt of these powerful spiritual resources acts to help perfect one’s relationship with the Almighty, by finally reconciling body and soul with God.

If death is the result, than there should be little concern about divine judgment or eternal damnation, since the primary mission of the church, the primary purpose of the sacraments, and the express will of God, is salvation.

If the person rallies and recovers, there’s a very good possibility of a permanent spiritual conversion.

These “Last Rites” may be repeated as often as is necessary, and they are typically also very comforting for loved ones, who remain behind.

Click here for complete details