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But unless we agree to disregard the rules of grammar and the logical sequence of thought, it is impossible to allow this separation of the clauses and this sudden transition in the third clause to a new and altogether unexpected subject-matter.
To perform this rite fully takes an appreciable time, but in cases of urgent necessity, when death is likely to occur before it can be completed, it is sufficient to employ a single unction (on the forehead, for instance) with the general form: "Through this holy unction may the Lord pardon thee whatever sins or faults thou hast committed." By the decree of 25 April, 1906, the Holy Office has expressly approved of this form for cases of urgent necessity. Luther denied the sacramentality of extreme unction and classed it among rites that are of human or ecclesiastical institution (De Captivit. The same is to be said of the other Protestant bodies, and down to our day the denial of the Tridentine doctrine on extreme unction has been one of the facts that go to make up the negative unanimity of Protestantism. Puller himself is not prepared to go so far, though he pleads for the revival of the Jacobean unction, which he regards as a mere sacramental instituted for the supernatural healing of bodily sickness only. There has been practically lost an apostolic practice, whereby, in case of grievous sickness, the faithful were anointed and prayed over, for the forgiveness of their sins, and to restore them, if God so willed, or to give them spiritual support in their maladies". That the Wycliffites and Hussites were suspected of contemning extreme unction is clear from the interrogatory already referred to, but the present writer has failed to discover any evidence of its specific rejection by these heretics.The "therefore" may very well be taken as referring vaguely to the whole preceding Epistle and introducing a sort of epilogue. Puller is the latest and most elaborate attempt to evade the plain meaning of the Jacobean text that we have met with; hence our reason for dealing with it so fully.It would be an endless task to notice the many other similarly arbitrary devices of interpretation to which Protestant theologians and commentators have recurred in attempting to justify their denial of the Tridentine teaching so clearly supported by St.Please help support the mission of New Advent and get the full contents of this website as an instant download. 417.) Each of the priests who are present repeats the whole rite. Going back farther we find extreme unction enumerated among the sacraments in the profession of faith subscribed for the Greeks by Michael Palæologus at the Council of Lyons in 1274 (Denzinger, no. 388), and in the still earlier profession prescribed for converted Waldenses by Innocent III in 1208 (Denzinger, no. Among the older Schoolmen there had been a difference of opinion on this point, some--as Hugh of St. Mark, and some of them took it to be a record of its institution by Christ or at least a proof of His promise or intention to institute it.Includes the Catholic Encyclopedia, Church Fathers, Summa, Bible and more all for only $19.99... The name did not become technical in the West till towards the end of the twelfth century, and has never become current in the East. Some post-Tridentine theologians also (Maldonatus, de Sainte-Beuve, Berti, Mariana, and among recent writers, but in a modified form, Schell) have maintained that the unction here mentioned was sacramental.In the nature of things there is no reason why unction as well as absolution by a priest might not be Divinely ordained for the sacramental remission of sin, and that it was so ordained is what every reader naturally concludes from St. Nor is there anything in the context to suggest a reference to the Sacrament of Penance in this third clause.
The admonition in the following verse (16), "Confess, therefore, your sins one to another", may refer to a mere liturgical confession like that expressed in the "Confiteor"; but even if we take the reference to be to sacramental confession and admit the genuineness of the connecting "therefore" (its genuineness is not beyond doubt), there is no compelling reason for connecting this admonition closely with the clause which immediately precedes.
Owing to the comparative paucity of extant testimonies from the early centuries relating to this sacrament, Catholic theologians habitually recur to the general argument from prescription, which in this case may be stated briefly thus: The uninterrupted use of the Jacobean rite and its recognition as a sacrament in the Eastern and Western Churches, notwithstanding their separation since 869, proves that both must have been in possession of a common tradition on the subject prior to the schism. It is more to the point in the first place to recall the loss, except for a few fragments, of several early commentaries on St.
Further, the fact that the Nestorian and Monophysite bodies, who separated from the Church in the fifth century, retained the use of the unction of the sick, carries back the undivided tradition to the beginning of that century, while no evidence from that or any earlier period can be adduced to weaken the legitimate presumption that the tradition is Apostolic, having its origin in St. Both of these broad facts will be established by the evidence to be given below, while the presumption referred to will be confirmed by the witness of the first four centuries. 241) to the Discipline of the Secret, which, so far as it existed, applied equally to other sacraments, yet did not prevent frequent reference to them by writers and preachers of those ages. James's Epistle (by Clement of Alexandria, Didymus, St. Cyril of Alexandria, and others) in which chiefly we should look for reference to the unction.
We know from experience (and the same has been known and noted in the Church from the beginning) that restoration of bodily health does not as a matter of fact normally result from the unction, though it does result with sufficient frequency and without being counted miraculous to justify us in regarding it as one of the Divinely (but conditionally) intended effects of the rite. James thus solemnly recommends universal recourse to a rite which, after all, will be efficacious for the purpose intended only by way of a comparatively rare exception? Puller; but, apart from the arbitrary and violent breaking up of the Jacobean text which it postulates, such a view utterly fails to furnish an adequate rationale for the universal and permanent character or the Apostolic prescription. Christ's promises regarding the efficacy of prayer are fully justified on this ground; but would they be justified if we were compelled to verify them by reference merely to the particular temporal boons we ask for? But in the Catholic view, which considers the temporal boon of bodily healing as being only a conditional and subordinate end of the unction, while its paramount spiritual purpose--to confer on the sick and dying graces which they specially need--may be, and is normally, obtained, not only is an adequate rationale of the Jacobean injunction provided, but a true instead of a false analogy with the efficacy of prayer is established. Puller is further obliged to maintain that all reference to the effects of the unction ceases with the words, "the Lord shall raise him up", and that in the clause immediately following, "and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him", St.
Yet this is what would follow if it be held that there is reference exclusively to bodily healing in the clauses which speak of the sick man being saved and raised up, and if further it be denied that the remission of sins spoken of in the following clause, and which is undeniably a spiritual effect, is attributed to the unction by St. James passes on to a totally different subject, namely, the Sacrament of Penance.
A sacrament of the New Law instituted by Christ to give spiritual aid and comfort and perfect spiritual health, including, if need be, the remission of sins, and also, conditionally, to restore bodily health, to Christians who are seriously ill; it consists essentially in the unction by a priest of the body of the sick person, accompanied by a suitable form of words. Some theologians would explain its origin on the ground that this unction was regarded as the last in order of the sacramental or quasi-sacramental unctions, being preceded by those of baptism, confirmation, and Holy orders; but, having regard to the conditions prevailing at the time when the name was introduced (see below, VI), it is much more probable that it was intended originally to mean "the unction of those , came into common use during the same period. Unct.) teaches that "this sacred unction of the sick was instituted by Christ Our Lord as a sacrament of the New Testament, truly and properly so called, being insinuated indeed in Mark  but commended to the faithful and promulgated" by James [Ep., v, 14, 15]; and the corresponding canon (can. Unct.) anathematizes anyone who would say "that extreme unction is not truly and properly a sacrament instituted by Christ Our Lord, and promulgated by the blessed Apostle James, but merely a rite received from the fathers, or a human invention". Again, it was one of the three sacraments (the others being confirmation and matrimony) which Wycliffites and Hussites were under suspicion of contemning, and about which they were to be specially interrogated at the Council of Constance by order of Martin V (Bull "Inter cunctas", 22 Feb., 1418.--Denzinger, op. But the great majority of theologians and commentators have denied the sacramentality of this unction on the grounds: (1) that there is mention only of bodily healing as its effect (cf.