Monday, February 22, 2016
A Catholic Wants to Commit Suicide, but Also Wants Absolution? In Advance?
Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa has told his priests that they should not administer the Sacrament of Anointing to people who plan an assisted suicide, since their desire to end their own lives shows that they lack "the proper disposition for the anointing of the sick."
The archbishop said that if a priest is called to attend to someone planning suicide, he should pray with him and seek to dissuade him from the act. In those circumstances, he said, by refusing to anoint the individual the priest may be helping to drive home the gravity of the action. He added that the sacrament includes absolution, but this cannot be given pre-emptively, to forgive a sin that is still being planned.
Archbishop Prenderast observed: "Asking your priest to be present to something that is is direct contradiction to our Catholic values is not fair to the pastor."