Being an Emergency Services Chaplain (one of the many hats I wear) I’ve seen this sort of thing play itself out far too often:
Only if you can prove you are a Catholic. Going by this story.
I posted earlier this year about a woman who continued to blog after her husband attempted to kill himself in front of her. Now around 9 months later she is writing about what happened when she needed spiritual help at the hospital in the leadup to his death.
In the immediate After… I was willing to believe in anything. one of the first things I did, the morning After, while Tony was unconscious in the ICU, was to visit our local catholic church, to arrange for a priest to come and perform Last Rites. Why…? Well, Tony was Catholic. Not practicing Catholic, but Catholic enough that our son was baptised. And I remembered, when Tony’s nan was in her last hours, he held her hand and recited the Lord’s Prayer, over and over, to bring her comfort. I think I wanted to bring the same comfort to him. The priest attended the hospital, only after checking that it was ‘OK’- I was not Catholic, and while our son was baptised at this church, we weren’t technically part of the parish. That stung, and still does.. that we had to meet some official requirement,s for prayer to be given. Despite me asking him to, the priest didn’t wait for me to perform Last Rites. Tony’s mum, and a friend of ours, where there, both baptised Catholics…. I guess that was enough. That stings too.
She goes on to say that the local pastor was there for them, did pray for them both without her having to prove anything.
Reading some of her posts is heartbreaking.
This excerpt makes me wonder what Jesus would do if He was the Catholic priest. Jesus wouldn’t ask her to prove anything except her grasping for Him, I believe.
And I can tell you, it’s not only Catholic Priests who are guilty of such neglect. I’ve seen those in desperate need being discarded and ignored all because of denominational prejudice. There really is a time and a place for everything, but when representing Jesus Christ in a crisis, bringing His healing presence into the situation is all that matters… and all that will be remembered! Pharisees remain alive and well, even today.