Posts Tagged ‘Catholic Teaching’

Before going to the hospital, there are some things you need to consider, as the trip there could very well be your last.

Temporally, there has been enough evidence that some hospitals are not acting in the best interest of their patients, resulting in a worse sickness, or even death. But leaving that for another time, the topic of this post focuses on the spiritual risks, especially for the Catholic, whose end of life sacraments and care from a priest could make all the difference in how one spends eternity.

The following is an e-mail sent by a priest to parishioners regarding his most recent run in with a local hospital regarding their inhumane treatment and disregard for the souls of those who are supposedly under their ‘care’.

Father writes

Dear Faithful,

In your charity please remember in your prayers the repose of the soul of William Harland from our Akron parish who passed away last night. The funeral will likely be sometime next week. I was finally able to get into the hospital to give him last rites this past Friday after five days of fighting with the hospital then again to visit him for an hour yesterday morning. There are some important thoughts below in that regard so I hope everyone will read those to avoid the risk of missing out on the sacrament of Extreme Unction when the time comes. First some thoughts on Bill then the details about problems getting in the hospital.

Many of you in the Akron parish may not have met Bill. He contacted the church in April 2019 and said he had been interested in the Catholic faith since childhood but various obstacles had prevented him from becoming Catholic. He had made up his mind finally to receive instruction (he was 60 when he passed away today).  For a long time his job prevented him from attending Mass on Sundays and often interfered with classes we had scheduled in the faith. We met when we could for an hour or two at a time over the past two years. That was a much longer time than usual for instruction of a convert but he persevered in coming when he could. This past May I received him into the Church with the profession of faith and conditional baptism. He said that was something he had wanted for a long time and it meant so much to him. When he could attend Mass over the past two years he would not stay afterward so most of you would not have had a chance to meet him.

A couple weeks ago Bill sent me a message saying he had covid and just asked for prayers. He said he thought he was on the mend and was doing fine. I had some nursing home visits to elderly parishioners I needed to make so I told Bill just to let me know if anything takes a turn for the worse. There didn’t seem an urgent need for Extreme Unction at that time so I thought it more prudent to take care of the nursing home visits. Three days later Bill messaged me to say he was admitted to Summa Health in Akron (City Hospital). I called the hospital immediately to ask about visiting to give him last rites. They bounced me around different departments for 35 minutes never getting a supervisor despite me asking repeatedly. All anyone would say is there are no visitors permitted for covid positive patients. The importance of last rites didn’t matter to them. Their actual visitor policy says administration can make exceptions to the policy, but they never would let me speak to anyone who had that authority. I messaged Bill to tell him what happened and he responded: “I was hoping to get to see you. I don’t know why they have to be like that.” I asked him if he remembered what Extreme Unction was from our classes in the faith and he responded: “I do remember it from our classes, yes. I would love that to happen, Father. Thank you.” I reminded him of the purpose and benefits of this sacrament and told him I would make sure he receives it. Unfortunately I got nowhere with the hospital staff.

Two days later he called me at 5 am in great distress. He had lost his eyesight and was feeling terrible. He said, “I don’t think I’m going to make it, Father.” I prepared him over the phone for last rites and told him what I would do for him just in case he was unconscious by the time I could get the hospital to finally let me in. I explained that Extreme Unction is valid when received by one who is unconscious provided the sick person has the intention to receive it. But I promised to do everything possible to get in while he was still alert enough to have the peace of mind to know he had received it and when he might still be conscious and alert enough to receive Holy Viaticum (the term for Holy Communion received in danger of death). I asked if I could let the parishioners know so they could pray for him and he said he would appreciate that.

The rest of that day from 5 am until 10 pm aside from Mass and my prayers all I did was fight with the hospital trying to get them to give me just 10-15 minutes to give him last rites. After much pushing I finally got to speak with a supervisor who was unfortunately no help. Then with more pushing I reached the unit director who was the one with authority to grant an exception to the visitor policy. Unfortunately for the next two days she did nothing but try to prevent me getting Bill last rites. Initially her excuse was that he was not critical or end-of-life. She said I could have 10-15 minutes if he became so. I reminded her that covid patients can throw a clot at any time. She admitted that but it didn’t matter to her. I asked how she thinks it is ok to leave a man in distress worrying whether or not he will get the spiritual help he wants? How does she think there is no urgency when a patient calls me at 5 am saying he doesn’t think he is going to make it? How does she think it is no big deal that he has lost his sight and they don’t even know why? I explained I would use all the short forms to be as brief as possible and would wear whatever PPE they wanted. I explained that I already had covid and have multiple positive antibody tests. None of that mattered to her.

I also explained that “danger of death” to a Catholic does not mean the same thing it means to a doctor. For a Catholic we are supposed to get last rites as soon as the danger is present, not when all hope of recovery has been lost and death is imminent. I explained it is much more spiritually profitable to receive last rites when conscious so that one can receive Holy Viaticum and can benefit from the effects of Extreme Unction throughout the course of the illness as well as be able to join their own conscious acts to reception of the sacrament. Again, none of that mattered to her. She simply clung to saying he wasn’t critical and I would be allowed to visit once he was. She said in the afternoon when he finished some tests she would check and make a decision as to whether or not there was reason to allow me to visit. Instead, she called me late afternoon to tell me that she talked to Bill and he doesn’t need me to come because their hospital lay chaplain was sufficient for his spiritual needs. I told her that cannot be true based on very clear phone and text conversations with him and his desperate call at 5 am that morning. I said I would ask Bill myself to verify her claim. Unfortunately they had him out for a test so by the time I could reach him in his room the director had already gone home. Bill told me that is not what he said and he still wanted me to come. In fact, at 5 am that morning since he lost his sight and couldn’t see his phone he specifically asked the nurse to look me up in his contacts and call me. He also gave my number to his mother with instructions to call me if anything happened and she also called that morning. Since the director had gone home I spoke with a supervisor and told her that Bill wanted me to come and that the director’s statement was false. The supervisor said nothing could be done until the next day when the director would be in again. I said that was not sufficient as he needed last rites as soon as possible and it was the director’s fault that he wasn’t getting what he needed. After calling multiple times until 10 pm that night the supervisor finally called the director at home to ask if I could visit. She still refused. I told them they had 2 hours to figure out how to get me in or I would be back with a lawyer in the morning and would go to the media as well. Needless to say they failed to care.

The next day I was busy all morning with a funeral but a lawyer contacted the hospital for me. They told the lawyer the director was not in and they said I was the one pushing to visit the patient and that it wasn’t the patient’s wishes (which is obviously absurd considering his 5 am call and multiple messages to me over days). I made multiple calls to the hospital that afternoon and evening trying to reach anyone with higher authority than the director but got nowhere. Also, I talked to a social worker at the hospital and asked her to help Bill put his wishes in writing as the lawyer had suggested (I don’t know that the hospital ever helped him do this as I never heard anything further from her even after leaving a voicemail the next day). So another day was lost with Bill left wondering whether or not he would receive last rites.

The next day (two days after Bill’s 5 am call) Bill’s mother called me to say they were putting him on a ventilator. He had thrown a clot and had a stroke. That was really frustrating because that was exactly the scenario I was trying to avoid by giving him last rites early. I called the hospital immediately hoping that I could get down there while he was still conscious before they put him on a ventilator. I assumed (sadly mistakenly) that at least now the director would let me in because Bill was undeniably in critical condition. The nurses station put me on hold for the director and she left me on hold 45 minutes without ever taking the call despite the fact that staff said she was going right in to take it. I hung up and called back and they said she was “busy with the family.” I asked them to have her call me back as soon as she was free since it was very critical that I get there before he goes on a ventilator. An hour later she finally called me back but I was at the hospital by then. Meanwhile the lawyer was left on hold 20 minutes at the nurses station without anyone taking the call and the lawyer finally had to hang up.

Since I had absolutely no trust in the director to call me back I just got the Blessed Sacrament and holy oils and drove down to the hospital. As I was walking in the door the director finally called me back. She had Bill on the phone and said he needed to tell me something. She said there was no need to have me come since she had their chaplain (a Novus Ordo “priest”) see him that morning. That’s what she wanted Bill to tell me. Instead, Bill said he didn’t remember anything and he still wanted me to come. She got on the phone and said Bill was confused and there was no reason to allow me to come. I argued with her and pointed out that there was no way she could deny his wishes which she and I both just heard explicitly. Sadly that didn’t matter to her and she denied my visit.

Since I was at the front desk of the lobby I asked to speak with an administrator. They called a supervisor who at first seemed understanding but then went upstairs to talk to the director. She came back down with two security guards and said I would not be allowed to visit and “I’m going to have to ask you to leave the property.” I wouldn’t leave and instead argued with her telling her about the lawyer’s phone calls that the director ignored and about several hospitals last year that got in trouble with HHS Office of Civil Rights for denying clergy visits. I asked if she had read CMS guidance on visits during covid which specifically say provision must be made for clergy visits (she admitted she had never read them and wasn’t even aware of what they say). I said if Bill dies without me giving him last rites the director and the hospital would be sued. I said I was going to publicly expose the hospital in the media and online. She walked away and left me with the two security guards. Ten minutes later someone (I don’t know who) made the decision to let me visit Bill but I would only get 5 minutes. Bill was in bad shape and barely responsive but knew I was there. I had to be quick about everything so it was a good thing Bill and I had already talked about what to expect. There was just enough time to do the short form of Extreme Unction with one anointing on the head and the short form of the Apostolic Blessing and make sure he had the Brown Scapular on. No time to talk or give him any words of consolation. It really was a shame. Even the 10-15 minutes the director had initially promised would have been far better.

Sadly, Bill was no longer able to swallow so he never had the opportunity to receive one last Holy Communion. That was totally preventable and the director’s failure to allow me a visit in a timely fashion was solely responsible (in addition to Summa’s terrible visiting policy). There was also no reason to leave Bill in such a state without the spiritual help he wanted for five days until he barely had consciousness left to know he got what he wanted.

Yesterday morning I was able to visit Bill again as they had moved him to palliative care (presumably because they decided he was no longer covid positive). I completed the rest of the anointings and said the prayers for the dying and a rosary. He still had his scapular on. He passed away last night. May he rest in peace.

The moral of all of this is that if you want to be sure to receive the last rites it is far better to ask me to come give them at home before going to the hospital. Summa has been more of a problem than other hospitals in the past year, so I would especially say this about them, but with everything changing all the time there is really no guarantee with any hospital. I cannot promise I can get in to give last rites once you are in the hospital. I will try everything possible but it is far easier just to take care of it before going into the hospital. Even if a particular hospital has a policy allowing clergy to visit covid or other patients at any time they generally ask me a series of questions about health before allowing me to enter. I cannot lie in answering the questions so if I had any kind of symptom from even a mild cold I would not be allowed in, or if I had been around someone with confirmed covid. When I visited Summa yesterday to see Bill they asked about 20 questions including about travel. It was just ridiculous and far beyond anything reasonable.

The other thing of great importance is when you go into a hospital it is critically important not to assume they will let me in or follow your wishes or even understand your wishes. You have to make it super clear to them that the Novus Ordo is a different religion and you want nothing to do with a Novus Ordo chaplain (even to pray with you). The lawyer told me if the patient is very insistent and does not take no for an answer from hospital staff it is much easier to make the hospital allow the priest to visit. Bill understood this but was not in a condition to be able to advocate for himself very well. Incidentally, this is one of the terrible effects of not allowing family to visit patients; they have no one by their bedside to advocate for them and they are too sick to advocate for themselves. Family just has to take the word of the hospital that they are treating the patient right and respecting his wishes. Bill’s sister lamented this fact to me. No hospital staff would have enough time to give the same personalized attention a family member could by the bedside. It’s so sad. I tried to get the hospital to give Bill a patient advocate but I don’t know if it was ever done.

Lastly, every Catholic should pray often for the grace not to die unprepared and to have the benefit of Extreme Unction if it is God’s will. That way you clearly have the intention to receive this sacrament and it could be given validly even if you are unconscious when receiving it. Also God may grant you this grace in answer to an often repeated prayer. We should also live every day in the state of grace as if we were going to die that day so we will never be unprepared. The saints died in many different circumstances: some old, some young; some with advance warning, some suddenly; some with last rites, others not. But what they had in common was they lived a good life always ready. We should too.

In Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Gabriel M.

Jorge Bergoglio “Pope Francis” has replaced Jesus Christ with a life jacket, and portrayed it as a ‘crucifix.’

As we know from basic catechism, a person commits a sin of sacrilege when he mistreats sacred persons, places, and things.

When the mistreatment is done to a person consecrated to God, it is a personal sacrilege. When the mistreatment is done against a sacred thing, like a sacrament, Holy Scripture, blessed objects, chalices, statues, etc., it is a real sacrilege.

Replacing Jesus Christ with a life jacket, according to what the Church teaches, is a sin of real sacrilege.

This isn’t the first rodeo for Jorge Bergoglio.

What makes the incident even more bold, in addition to it being public and published by the occupiers of the Vatican, is that like the Pachamama figurines, he actually ‘blessed’ this ‘life jacket crucifix’.

For those in union with Jorge Bergoglio and the Church created at the ‘Second Vatican Council’, the Pachamama figurines and this life jacket crucifix are actually blessed objects!

Of course, objectively, since Bergoglio was ‘ordained’ with the rite from the communist modernist Montini, he doubtfully was a priest to begin with. So those offensive things aren’t actually blessed.

The antics of this false pope are not the problem, but the results of it. The problem began with the false church created at V2. It contradicts the Catholic Church. The bad fruits of sacrileges, idolatries, and other grave offenses will only continue, because the V2 church itself is a rotten tree.

For more details of the differences between the Catholic Church and the novus ordo church, here is a series of side-by-side comparisons.

Comparing side-by-side the documents of Vatican II versus those of the Catholic Church, we find Vatican II to be condemned…This is Part Two, Ecumenism.

Part One – Religious Liberty

Part Three – The New Ecclesiology

Special thanks to Father Cekada for tracking down this document from Catholic Restoration. To personalize the view and zoom, you can click the arrows at the top right of image below.

Comparing side-by-side the documents of Vatican II versus those of the Catholic Church, we find Vatican II to be condemned…This is Part One, Religious Liberty.

Part Two – Ecumenism

Part Three – The New Ecclesiology

Special thanks to Father Cekada for tracking down this document. To personalize the view and zoom, you can click the arrows at the top right of image below.