Catechism of the Catholic Church / Part Two: The Celebration of The Christian Mystery
Section Two - The Seven Sacraments of The Church
Chapter Two - The Sacraments of Healing
Through the sacraments of Christian initiation, man receives the new life of
Christ. Now we carry this life "in earthen vessels," and it remains
"hidden with Christ in God."1 We are still in our
"earthly tent," subject to suffering, illness, and death.2
This new life as a child of God can be weakened and even lost by sin.
The Lord Jesus Christ, physician of our souls and bodies, who forgave the sins
of the paralytic and restored him to bodily health,3 has willed that
his Church continue, in the power of the Holy Spirit, his work of healing and
salvation, even among her own members. This is the purpose of the two
sacraments of healing: the sacrament of Penance and the sacrament of Anointing
of the Sick.
THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE AND RECONCILIATION
"Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God's
mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time,
reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by
charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion."4
I. What is This Sacrament Called?
It is called the sacrament of conversion because it makes sacramentally present
Jesus' call to conversion, the first step in returning to the Father5
from whom one has strayed by sin.
It is called the sacrament of Penance, since it consecrates the Christian
sinner's personal and ecclesial steps of conversion, penance, and satisfaction.
It is called the sacrament of confession, since the disclosure or confession of
sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament. In a profound sense
it is also a "confession" - acknowledgment and praise - of the
holiness of God and of his mercy toward sinful man.
It is called the sacrament of forgiveness, since by the priest's sacramental
absolution God grants the penitent "pardon and peace."6
It is called the sacrament of Reconciliation, because it imparts to the sinner
the live of God who reconciles: "Be reconciled to God."7 He
who lives by God's merciful love is ready to respond to the Lord's call:
"Go; first be reconciled to your brother."8
II. Why a Sacrament of Reconciliation after Baptism?
"YOU were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of
the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God."9 One must
appreciate the magnitude of the gift God has given us in the sacraments of
Christian initiation in order to grasp the degree to which sin is excluded for
him who has "put on Christ."10 But the apostle John also
says: "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is
not in us."11 and the Lord himself taught us to pray:
"Forgive us our trespasses,"12 linking our forgiveness of one
another's offenses to the forgiveness of our sins that God will grant us.
Conversion to Christ, the new birth of Baptism, the gift of the Holy Spirit and
the Body and Blood of Christ received as food have made us "holy and
without blemish," just as the Church herself, the Bride of Christ, is
"holy and without blemish."13 Nevertheless the new life
received in Christian initiation has not abolished the frailty and weakness of
human nature, nor the inclination to sin that tradition calls concupiscence,
which remains in the baptized such that with the help of the grace of Christ
they may prove themselves in the struggle of Christian life.14 This is
the struggle of conversion directed toward holiness and eternal life to which
the Lord never ceases to call us.15
III. The Conversion of the Baptized
Jesus calls to conversion. This call is an essential part of the proclamation
of the kingdom: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand;
repent, and believe in the gospel."16 In the Church's preaching
this call is addressed first to those who do not yet know Christ and his
Gospel. Also, Baptism is the principal place for the first and fundamental
conversion. It is by faith in the Gospel and by Baptism17 that one
renounces evil and gains salvation, that is, the forgiveness of all sins and
the gift of new life.
Christ's call to conversion continues to resound in the lives of Christians.
This second conversion is an uninterrupted task for the whole Church who,
"clasping sinners to her bosom, (is) at once holy and always in need of
purification, (and) follows constantly the path of penance and
renewal."18 This endeavor of conversion is not just a human work.
It is the movement of a "contrite heart," drawn and moved by grace to
respond to the merciful love of God who loved us first.19
St. Peter's conversion after he had denied his master three times bears witness
to this. Jesus' look of infinite mercy drew tears of repentance from Peter and,
after the Lord's resurrection, a threefold affirmation of love for
him.20 The second conversion also has a communitarian dimension, as is
clear in the Lord's call to a whole Church: "Repent!"21
St. Ambrose says of the two
conversions that, in the Church, "there are water and tears: the water of
Baptism and the tears of repentance."22
IV. Interior Penance
Jesus' call to conversion and penance, like that of the prophets before him,
does not aim first at outward works, "sackcloth and ashes," fasting and
mortification, but at the conversion of the heart, interior conversion. Without
this, such penances remain sterile and false; however, interior conversion
urges expression in visible signs, gestures and works of penance.23
Interior repentance is a radical reorientation of our whole life, a return, a
conversion to God with all our heart, an end of sin, a turning away from evil,
with repugnance toward the evil actions we have committed. At the same time it
entails the desire and resolution to change one's life, with hope in God's
mercy and trust in the help of his grace. This conversion of heart is
accompanied by a salutary pain and sadness which the Fathers called animi
cruciatus (affliction of spirit) and compunctio cordis (repentance of
The human heart is heavy and hardened. God must give man a new heart.25
Conversion is first of all a work of the grace of God who makes our hearts
return to him: "Restore us to thyself, O LORD, that we may be
restored!"26 God gives us the strength to begin anew. It is in
discovering the greatness of God's love that our heart is shaken by the horror
and weight of sin and begins to fear offending God by sin and being separated
from him. the human heart is converted by looking upon him whom our sins have
Let us fix our eyes on
Christ's blood and understand how precious it is to his Father, for, poured out
for our salvation it has brought to the whole world the grace of repentance.
Since Easter, the Holy Spirit has proved "the world wrong about
sin,"29 i.e., proved that the world has not believed in him whom
the Father has sent. But this same Spirit who brings sin to light is also the
Consoler who gives the human heart grace for repentance and
V. The Many Forms of Penance in Christian Life
interior penance of the Christian can be expressed in many and various ways.
Scripture and the Fathers insist above all on three forms, fasting, prayer, and
almsgiving,31 which express conversion in relation to oneself, to God,
and to others. Alongside the radical purification brought about by Baptism or
martyrdom they cite as means of obtaining forgiveness of sins: effort at
reconciliation with one's neighbor, tears of repentance, concern for the
salvation of one's neighbor, the intercession of the saints, and the practice
of charity "which covers a multitude of sins."32
is accomplished in daily life by gestures of reconciliation, concern for the
poor, the exercise and defense of justice and right,33 by the admission
of faults to one's brethren, fraternal correction, revision of life,
examination of conscience, spiritual direction, acceptance of suffering,
endurance of persecution for the sake of righteousness. Taking up one's cross
each day and following Jesus is the surest way of penance.34
and Penance. Daily conversion and penance find their source and nourishment in
the Eucharist, for in it is made present the sacrifice of Christ which has
reconciled us with God. Through the Eucharist those who live from the life of
Christ are fed and strengthened. "It is a remedy to free us from our daily
faults and to preserve us from mortal sins."35
Sacred Scripture, praying the Liturgy of the Hours and the Our Father - every
sincere act of worship or devotion revives the spirit of conversion and
repentance within us and contributes to the forgiveness of our sins.
seasons and days of penance in the course of the liturgical year (Lent, and
each Friday in memory of the death of the Lord) are intense moments of the
Church's penitential practice.36 These times are particularly
appropriate for spiritual exercises, penitential liturgies, pilgrimages as
signs of penance, voluntary self-denial such as fasting and almsgiving, and
fraternal sharing (charitable and missionary works).
process of conversion and repentance was described by Jesus in the parable of
the prodigal son, the center of which is the merciful father:37 The
fascination of illusory freedom, the abandonment of the father's house; the
extreme misery in which the son finds himself after squandering his fortune;
his deep humiliation at finding himself obliged to feed swine, and still worse,
at wanting to feed on the husks the pigs ate; his reflection on all he has
lost; his repentance and decision to declare himself guilty before his father;
the journey back; the father's generous welcome; the father's joy - all these
are characteristic of the process of conversion. the beautiful robe, the ring, and
the festive banquet are symbols of that new life - pure worthy, and joyful - of
anyone who returns to God and to the bosom of his family, which is the Church.
Only the heart of Christ Who knows the depths of his Father's love could reveal
to us the abyss of his mercy in so simple and beautiful a way.
VI. The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation
Sin is before all else an offense against God, a rupture of communion with him.
At the same time it damages communion with the Church. For this reason
conversion entails both God's forgiveness and reconciliation with the Church,
which are expressed and accomplished liturgically by the sacrament of Penance
Only God forgives sins.39 Since he is the Son of God, Jesus says of
himself, "The Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" and
exercises this divine power: "Your sins are forgiven."40
Further, by virtue of his divine authority he gives this power to men to
exercise in his name.41
Christ has willed that in her prayer and life and action his whole Church
should be the sign and instrument of the forgiveness and reconciliation that he
acquired for us at the price of his blood. But he entrusted the exercise of the
power of absolution to the apostolic ministry which he charged with the
"ministry of reconciliation."42 The apostle is sent out
"on behalf of Christ" with "God making his appeal" through
him and pleading: "Be reconciled to God."43
with the Church
During his public life Jesus not only forgave sins, but also made plain the
effect of this forgiveness: he reintegrated forgiven sinners into the community
of the People of God from which sin had alienated or even excluded them. A
remarkable sign of this is the fact that Jesus receives sinners at his table, a
gesture that expresses in an astonishing way both God's forgiveness and the return
to the bosom of the People of God.44
In imparting to his apostles his own power to forgive sins the Lord also gives
them the authority to reconcile sinners with the Church. This ecclesial
dimension of their task is expressed most notably in Christ's solemn words to
Simon Peter: "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and
whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on
earth shall be loosed in heaven."45 "The office of binding
and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of the
apostles united to its head."46
The words bind and loose mean: whomever you exclude from your communion, will
be excluded from communion with God; whomever you receive anew into your
communion, God will welcome back into his. Reconciliation with the Church is
inseparable from reconciliation with God.
sacrament of forgiveness
Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his
Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and
have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to
them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to
recover the grace of justification. the Fathers of the Church present this
sacrament as "the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is
the loss of grace."47
the centuries the concrete form in which the Church has exercised this power
received from the Lord has varied considerably. During the first centuries the
reconciliation of Christians who had committed particularly grave sins after
their Baptism (for example, idolatry, murder, or adultery) was tied to a very
rigorous discipline, according to which penitents had to do public penance for
their sins, often for years, before receiving reconciliation. To this
"order of penitents" (which concerned only certain grave sins), one
was only rarely admitted and in certain regions only once in a lifetime. During
the seventh century Irish missionaries, inspired by the Eastern monastic
tradition, took to continental Europe the "private" practice of
penance, which does not require public and prolonged completion of penitential
works before reconciliation with the Church. From that time on, the sacrament
has been performed in secret between penitent and priest. This new practice
envisioned the possibility of repetition and so opened the way to a regular
frequenting of this sacrament. It allowed the forgiveness of grave sins and
venial sins to be integrated into one sacramental celebration. In its main
lines this is the form of penance that the Church has practiced down to our
Beneath the changes in discipline and celebration that this sacrament has
undergone over the centuries, the same fundamental structure is to be
discerned. It comprises two equally essential elements: on the one hand, the
acts of the man who undergoes conversion through the action of the Holy Spirit:
namely, contrition, confession, and satisfaction; on the other, God's action
through the intervention of the Church. the Church, who through the bishop and
his priests forgives sins in the name of Jesus Christ and determines the manner
of satisfaction, also prays for the sinner and does penance with him. Thus the
sinner is healed and re-established in ecclesial communion.
The formula of absolution used in the Latin Church expresses the essential elements
of this sacrament: the Father of mercies is the source of all forgiveness. He
effects the reconciliation of sinners through the Passover of his Son and the
gift of his Spirit, through the prayer and ministry of the Church:
God, the Father of mercies,
through the death and the
resurrection of his Son
has reconciled the world to
and sent the Holy Spirit among
for the forgiveness of sins;
through the ministry of the Church
may God give you pardon and
and I absolve you from your
sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy
VII. The Acts of the Penitent
"Penance requires . . . the sinner to endure all things willingly, be
contrite of heart, confess with the lips, and practice complete humility and
Among the penitent's acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is
"sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with
the resolution not to sin again."50
When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is
called "perfect" (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits
venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm
resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as
The contrition called "imperfect" (or "attrition") is also
a gift of God, a prompting of the Holy Spirit. It is born of the consideration
of sin's ugliness or the fear of eternal damnation and the other penalties
threatening the sinner (contrition of fear). Such a stirring of conscience can
initiate an interior process which, under the prompting of grace, will be
brought to completion by sacramental absolution. By itself however, imperfect
contrition cannot obtain the forgiveness of grave sins, but it disposes one to
obtain forgiveness in the sacrament of Penance.52
reception of this sacrament ought to be prepared for by an examination of
conscience made in the light of the Word of God. the passages best suited to
this can be found in the moral catechesis of the Gospels and the apostolic
Letters, such as the Sermon on the Mount and the apostolic teachings.53
confession of sins
The confession (or disclosure) of sins, even from a simply human point of view,
frees us and facilitates our reconciliation with others. Through such an
admission man looks squarely at the sins he is guilty of, takes responsibility
for them, and thereby opens himself again to God and to the communion of the
Church in order to make a new future possible.
Confession to a priest is an essential part of the sacrament of Penance:
"All mortal sins of which penitents after a diligent self-examination are
conscious must be recounted by them in confession, even if they are most secret
and have been committed against the last two precepts of the Decalogue; for these
sins sometimes wound the soul more grievously and are more dangerous than those
which are committed openly."54
When Christ's faithful strive to confess all the sins that they can
remember, they undoubtedly place all of them before the divine mercy for
pardon. But those who fail to do so and knowingly withhold some, place nothing
before the divine goodness for remission through the mediation of the priest,
"for if the sick person is too ashamed to show his wound to the doctor,
the medicine cannot heal what it does not know."55
to the Church's command, "after having attained the age of discretion,
each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious
sins at least once a year."56 Anyone who is aware of having
committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences
deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless
he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of
going to confession.57 Children must go to the sacrament of Penance
before receiving Holy Communion for the first time.58
Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is
nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church.59 Indeed the regular
confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil
tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the
Spirit. By receiving more frequently through this sacrament the gift of the
Father's mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as he is merciful:60
Whoever confesses his sins . .
. is already working with God. God indicts your sins; if you also indict them,
you are joined with God. Man and sinner are, so to speak, two realities: when
you hear "man" - this is what God has made; when you hear
"sinner" - this is what man himself has made. Destroy what you have
made, so that God may save what he has made .... When you begin to abhor what
you have made, it is then that your good works are beginning, since you are
accusing yourself of your evil works. the beginning of good works is the
confession of evil works. You do the truth and come to the light.61
Many sins wrong our neighbor. One must do what is possible in order to repair
the harm (e.g., return stolen goods, restore the reputation of someone
slandered, pay compensation for injuries). Simple justice requires as much. But
sin also injures and weakens the sinner himself, as well as his relationships
with God and neighbor. Absolution takes away sin, but it does not remedy all
the disorders sin has caused.62 Raised up from sin, the sinner must
still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends
for the sin: he must "make satisfaction for" or "expiate"
his sins. This satisfaction is also called "penance."
The penance the confessor imposes must take into account the penitent's personal
situation and must seek his spiritual good. It must correspond as far as
possible with the gravity and nature of the sins committed. It can consist of
prayer, an offering, works of mercy, service of neighbor, voluntary
self-denial, sacrifices, and above all the patient acceptance of the cross we
must bear. Such penances help configure us to Christ, who alone expiated our
sins once for all. They allow us to become co-heirs with the risen Christ,
"provided we suffer with him."63
The satisfaction that we make
for our sins, however, is not so much ours as though it were not done through
Jesus Christ. We who can do nothing ourselves, as if just by ourselves, can do
all things with the cooperation of "him who strengthens" us. Thus man
has nothing of which to boast, but all our boasting is in Christ . . . in whom
we make satisfaction by bringing forth "fruits that befit
repentance." These fruits have their efficacy from him, by him they are
offered to the Father, and through him they are accepted by the
VIII. The Minister of This Sacrament
Since Christ entrusted to his apostles the ministry of
reconciliation,65 bishops who are their successors, and priests, the bishops'
collaborators, continue to exercise this ministry. Indeed bishops and priests,
by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, have the power to forgive all sins
"in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
Forgiveness of sins brings reconciliation with God, but also with the Church.
Since ancient times the bishop, visible head of a particular Church, has thus
rightfully been considered to be the one who principally has the power and
ministry of reconciliation: he is the moderator of the penitential
discipline.66 Priests, his collaborators, exercise it to the extent
that they have received the commission either from their bishop (or religious
superior) or the Pope, according to the law of the Church.67
particularly grave sins incur excommunication, the most severe ecclesiastical
penalty, which impedes the reception of the sacraments and the exercise of
certain ecclesiastical acts, and for which absolution consequently cannot be
granted, according to canon law, except by the Pope, the bishop of the place or
priests authorized by them.68 In danger of death any priest, even if
deprived of faculties for hearing confessions, can absolve from every sin and
Priests must encourage the faithful to come to the sacrament of Penance and
must make themselves available to celebrate this sacrament each time Christians
reasonably ask for it.70
When he celebrates the sacrament of Penance, the priest is fulfilling the
ministry of the Good Shepherd who seeks the lost sheep, of the Good Samaritan
who binds up wounds, of the Father who awaits the prodigal son and welcomes him
on his return, and of the just and impartial judge whose judgment is both just
and merciful. the priest is the sign and the instrument of God's merciful love
for the sinner.
The confessor is not the master of God's forgiveness, but its servant. the
minister of this sacrament should unite himself to the intention and charity of
Christ.71 He should have a proven knowledge of Christian behavior,
experience of human affairs, respect and sensitivity toward the one who has
fallen; he must love the truth, be faithful to the Magisterium of the Church,
and lead the penitent with patience toward healing and full maturity. He must
pray and do penance for his penitent, entrusting him to the Lord's mercy.
Given the delicacy and greatness of this ministry and the respect due to
persons, the Church declares that every priest who hears confessions is bound
under very severe penalties to keep absolute secrecy regarding the sins that
his penitents have confessed to him. He can make no use of knowledge that
confession gives him about penitents' lives.72 This secret, which
admits of no exceptions, is called the "sacramental seal," because
what the penitent has made known to the priest remains "sealed" by
IX. The Effects of This Sacrament
"The whole power of the sacrament of Penance consists in restoring us to
God's grace and joining us with him in an intimate friendship."73
Reconciliation with God is thus the purpose and effect of this sacrament. For
those who receive the sacrament of Penance with contrite heart and religious
disposition, reconciliation "is usually followed by peace and serenity of
conscience with strong spiritual consolation."74 Indeed the sacrament
of Reconciliation with God brings about a true "spiritual
resurrection," restoration of the dignity and blessings of the life of the
children of God, of which the most precious is friendship with God.75
This sacrament reconciles us with the Church. Sin damages or even breaks
fraternal communion. the sacrament of Penance repairs or restores it. In this
sense it does not simply heal the one restored to ecclesial communion, but has
also a revitalizing effect on the life of the Church which suffered from the
sin of one of her members.76 Re-established or strengthened in the
communion of saints, the sinner is made stronger by the exchange of spiritual
goods among all the living members of the Body of Christ, whether still on
pilgrimage or already in the heavenly homeland:77
It must be recalled that . . .
this reconciliation with God leads, as it were, to other reconciliations, which
repair the other breaches caused by sin. the forgiven penitent is reconciled
with himself in his inmost being, where he regains his innermost truth. He is
reconciled with his brethren whom he has in some way offended and wounded. He
is reconciled with the Church. He is reconciled with all creation.78
In this sacrament, the sinner, placing himself before the merciful judgment of
God, anticipates in a certain way the judgment to which he will be subjected at
the end of his earthly life. For it is now, in this life, that we are offered
the choice between life and death, and it is only by the road of conversion
that we can enter the Kingdom, from which one is excluded by grave
sin.79 In converting to Christ through penance and faith, the sinner
passes from death to life and "does not come into judgment."80
The doctrine and practice of indulgences in the Church are closely linked to
the effects of the sacrament of Penance.
What is an
"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment
due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian
who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the
action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and
applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the
indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of
the temporal punishment due to sin."82 Indulgences may be applied
to the living or the dead.
punishments of sin
understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to
understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of
communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the
privation of which is called the "eternal punishment" of sin. On the
other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to
creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the
state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the
"temporal punishment" of sin. These two punishments must not be
conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as
following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a
fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a
way that no punishment would remain.83
forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of
the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains. While
patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes,
serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal
punishment of sin as a grace. He should strive by works of mercy and charity,
as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off
completely the "old man" and to put on the "new
Communion of Saints
Christian who seeks to purify himself of his sin and to become holy with the
help of God's grace is not alone. "The life of each of God's children is
joined in Christ and through Christ in a wonderful way to the life of all the
other Christian brethren in the supernatural unity of the Mystical Body of
Christ, as in a single mystical person."85
communion of saints, "a perennial link of charity exists between the
faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating
their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth. between them
there is, too, an abundant exchange of all good things."86 In this
wonderful exchange, the holiness of one profits others, well beyond the harm
that the sin of one could cause others. Thus recourse to the communion of
saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified of
the punishments for sin.
also call these spiritual goods of the communion of saints the Church's treasury,
which is "not the sum total of the material goods which have accumulated
during the course of the centuries. On the contrary the 'treasury of the
Church' is the infinite value, which can never be exhausted, which Christ's
merits have before God. They were offered so that the whole of mankind could be
set free from sin and attain communion with the Father. In Christ, the Redeemer
himself, the satisfactions and merits of his Redemption exist and find their
treasury includes as well the prayers and good works of the Blessed Virgin
Mary. They are truly immense, unfathomable, and even pristine in their value
before God. In the treasury, too, are the prayers and good works of all the
saints, all those who have followed in the footsteps of Christ the Lord and by
his grace have made their lives holy and carried out the mission the Father
entrusted to them. In this way they attained their own salvation and at the
same time cooperated in saving their brothers in the unity of the Mystical
indulgence from God through the Church
indulgence is obtained through the Church who, by virtue of the power of binding
and loosing granted her by Christ Jesus, intervenes in favor of individual
Christians and opens for them the treasury of the merits of Christ and the
saints to obtain from the Father of mercies the remission of the temporal
punishments due for their sins. Thus the Church does not want simply to come to
the aid of these Christians, but also to spur them to works of devotion,
penance, and charity.89
the faithful departed now being purified are also members of the same communion
of saints, one way we can help them is to obtain indulgences for them, so that
the temporal punishments due for their sins may be remitted.
XI. The Celebration of the Sacrament of Penance
Like all the sacraments, Penance is a liturgical action. the elements of the
celebration are ordinarily these: a greeting and blessing from the priest,
reading the word of God to illuminate the conscience and elicit contrition, and
an exhortation to repentance; the confession, which acknowledges sins and makes
them known to the priest; the imposition and acceptance of a penance; the
priest's absolution; a prayer of thanksgiving and praise and dismissal with the
blessing of the priest.
Byzantine Liturgy recognizes several formulas of absolution, in the form of
invocation, which admirably express the mystery of forgiveness: "May the
same God, who through the Prophet Nathan forgave David when he confessed his
sins, who forgave Peter when he wept bitterly, the prostitute when she washed
his feet with her tears, the Pharisee, and the prodigal son, through me, a
sinner, forgive you both in this life and in the next and enable you to appear
before his awe-inspiring tribunal without condemnation, he who is blessed for
ever and ever. Amen."
sacrament of Penance can also take place in the framework of a communal
celebration in which we prepare ourselves together for confession and give
thanks together for the forgiveness received. Here, the personal confession of
sins and individual absolution are inserted into a liturgy of the word of God
with readings and a homily, an examination of conscience conducted in common, a
communal request for forgiveness, the Our Father and a thanksgiving in common.
This communal celebration expresses more clearly the ecclesial character of
penance. However, regardless of its manner of celebration the sacrament of
Penance is always, by its very nature, a liturgical action, and therefore an ecclesial
and public action.90
case of grave necessity recourse may be had to a communal celebration of
reconciliation with general confession and general absolution. Grave necessity
of this sort can arise when there is imminent danger of death without
sufficient time for the priest or priests to hear each penitent's confession.
Grave necessity can also exist when, given the number of penitents, there are
not enough confessors to hear individual confessions properly in a reasonable
time, so that the penitents through no fault of their own would be deprived of
sacramental grace or Holy Communion for a long time. In this case, for the
absolution to be valid the faithful must have the intention of individually
confessing their sins in the time required.91 The diocesan bishop is
the judge of whether or not the conditions required for general absolution
exist.92 A large gathering of the faithful on the occasion of major
feasts or pilgrimages does not constitute a case of grave necessity.93
"Individual, integral confession and absolution remain the only ordinary
way for the faithful to reconcile themselves with God and the Church, unless
physical or moral impossibility excuses from this kind of
confession."94 There are profound reasons for this. Christ is at
work in each of the sacraments. He personally addresses every sinner: "My
son, your sins are forgiven."95 He is the physician tending each
one of the sick who need him to cure them.96 He raises them up and
reintegrates them into fraternal communion. Personal confession is thus the
form most expressive of reconciliation with God and with the Church.
1485 "On the evening of
that day, the first day of the week," Jesus showed himself to his
apostles. "He breathed on them, and said to them: 'Receive the Holy
Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the
sins of any, they are retained"' (⇒ Jn
20:19, (⇒ 22-23).
1486 The forgiveness of sins
committed after Baptism is conferred by a particular sacrament called the
sacrament of conversion, confession, penance, or reconciliation.
1487 The sinner wounds God's
honor and love, his own human dignity as a man called to be a son of God, and
the spiritual well-being of the Church, of which each Christian ought to be a
1488 To the eyes of faith no
evil is graver than sin and nothing has worse consequences for sinners
themselves, for the Church, and for the whole world.
1489 To return to communion
with God after having lost it through sin is a process born of the grace of God
who is rich in mercy and solicitous for the salvation of men. One must ask for
this precious gift for oneself and for others.
1490 The movement of return
to God, called conversion and repentance, entails sorrow for and abhorrence of
sins committed, and the firm purpose of sinning no more in the future.
Conversion touches the past and the future and is nourished by hope in God's
1491 The sacrament of Penance
is a whole consisting in three actions of the penitent and the priest's
absolution. the penitent's acts are repentance, confession or disclosure of
sins to the priest, and the intention to make reparation and do works of
1492 Repentance (also called
contrition) must be inspired by motives that arise from faith. If repentance
arises from love of charity for God, it is called "perfect"
contrition; if it is founded on other motives, it is called
1493 One who desires to
obtain reconciliation with God and with the Church, must confess to a priest
all the unconfessed grave sins he remembers after having carefully examined his
conscience. the confession of venial faults, without being necessary in itself,
is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church.
1494 The confessor proposes
the performance of certain acts of "satisfaction" or
"penance" to be performed by the penitent in order to repair the harm
caused by sin and to re-establish habits befitting a disciple of Christ.
1495 Only priests who have
received the faculty of absolving from the authority of the Church can forgive
sins in the name of Christ.
1496 The spiritual effects of
the sacrament of Penance are:
- reconciliation with God by which the penitent recovers grace;
- reconciliation with the Church;
- remission of the eternal punishment incurred by mortal sins;
- remission, at least in part, of temporal punishments resulting from sin;
- peace and serenity of conscience, and spiritual consolation;
- an increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle.
1497 Individual and integral
confession of grave sins followed by absolution remains the only ordinary means
of reconciliation with God and with the Church.
1498 Through indulgences the
faithful can obtain the remission of temporal punishment resulting from sin for
themselves and also for the souls in Purgatory.
THE ANOINTING OF THE SICK
"By the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of the priests the
whole Church commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord,
that he may raise them up and save them. and indeed she exhorts them to
contribute to the good of the People of God by freely uniting themselves to the
Passion and death of Christ."97
I. Its Foundations in the Economy of Salvation
Illness and suffering have always been among the gravest problems confronted in
human life. In illness, man experiences his powerlessness, his limitations, and
his finitude. Every illness can make us glimpse death.
Illness can lead to anguish, self-absorption, sometimes even despair and revolt
against God. It can also make a person more mature, helping him discern in his
life what is not essential so that he can turn toward that which is. Very often
illness provokes a search for God and a return to him.
person before God
The man of the Old Testament lives his sickness in the presence of God. It is
before God that he laments his illness, and it is of God, Master of life and
death, that he implores healing.98 Illness becomes a way to conversion;
God's forgiveness initiates the healing.99 It is the experience of
Israel that illness is mysteriously linked to sin and evil, and that
faithfulness to God according to his law restores life: "For I am the
Lord, your healer."100 The prophet intuits that suffering can also
have a redemptive meaning for the sins of others.101 Finally Isaiah
announces that God will usher in a time for Zion when he will pardon every
offense and heal every illness.102
Christ's compassion toward the sick and his many healings of every kind of
infirmity are a resplendent sign that "God has visited his
people"103 and that the Kingdom of God is close at hand. Jesus has
the power not only to heal, but also to forgive sins;104 he has come to
heal the whole man, soul and body; he is the physician the sick have need
of.105 His compassion toward all who suffer goes so far that he
identifies himself with them: "I was sick and you visited
me."106 His preferential love for the sick has not ceased through
the centuries to draw the very special attention of Christians toward all those
who suffer in body and soul. It is the source of tireless efforts to comfort
Often Jesus asks the sick to believe.107 He makes use of signs to heal:
spittle and the laying on of hands,108 mud and washing.109 The
sick try to touch him, "for power came forth from him and healed them
all."110 and so in the sacraments Christ continues to
"touch" us in order to heal us.
Moved by so much suffering Christ not only allows himself to be touched by the
sick, but he makes their miseries his own: "He took our infirmities and
bore our diseases."111 But he did not heal all the sick. His
healings were signs of the coming of the Kingdom of God. They announced a more
radical healing: the victory over sin and death through his Passover. On the
cross Christ took upon himself the whole weight of evil and took away the
"sin of the world,"112 of which illness is only a
consequence. By his passion and death on the cross Christ has given a new
meaning to suffering: it can henceforth configure us to him and unite us with
his redemptive Passion.
the sick . . ."
Christ invites his disciples to follow him by taking up their cross in their
turn.113 By following him they acquire a new outlook on illness and the
sick. Jesus associates them with his own life of poverty and service. He makes
them share in his ministry of compassion and healing: "So they went out
and preached that men should repent. and they cast out many demons, and
anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them."114
The risen Lord renews this mission ("In my name . . . they will lay their
hands on the sick, and they will recover."115) and confirms it
through the signs that the Church performs by invoking his name.116
These signs demonstrate in a special way that Jesus is truly "God who
The Holy Spirit gives to some a special charism of healing118 so as to
make manifest the power of the grace of the risen Lord. But even the most
intense prayers do not always obtain the healing of all illnesses. Thus St.
Paul must learn from the Lord that "my grace is sufficient for you, for my
power is made perfect in weakness," and that the sufferings to be endured
can mean that "in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's
afflictions for the sake of his Body, that is, the Church."119
"Heal the sick!"120 The Church has received this charge from
the Lord and strives to carry it out by taking care of the sick as well as by
accompanying them with her prayer of intercession. She believes in the
life-giving presence of Christ, the physician of souls and bodies. This
presence is particularly active through the sacraments, and in an altogether
special way through the Eucharist, the bread that gives eternal life and that
St. Paul suggests is connected with bodily health.121
However, the apostolic Church has its own rite for the sick, attested to by St.
James: "Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders [presbyters] of
the Church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of
the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will
raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be
forgiven."122 Tradition has recognized in this rite one of the
of the sick
The Church believes and confesses that among the seven sacraments there is one especially
intended to strengthen those who are being tried by illness, the Anointing of
This sacred anointing of the
sick was instituted by Christ our Lord as a true and proper sacrament of the
New Testament. It is alluded to indeed by Mark, but is recommended to the
faithful and promulgated by James the apostle and brother of the
From ancient times in the liturgical traditions of both East and West, we have
testimonies to the practice of anointings of the sick with blessed oil. Over
the centuries the Anointing of the Sick was conferred more and more exclusively
on those at the point of death. Because of this it received the name
"Extreme Unction." Notwithstanding this evolution the liturgy has never
failed to beg the Lord that the sick person may recover his health if it would
be conducive to his salvation.125
The Apostolic Constitution Sacram unctionem infirmorum,126 following
upon the Second Vatican Council,127 established that henceforth, in the
Roman Rite, the following be observed:
The sacrament of Anointing of
the Sick is given to those who are seriously ill by anointing them on the
forehead and hands with duly blessed oil - pressed from olives or from other
plants - saying, only once: "Through this holy anointing may the Lord in
his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who
frees you from sin save you and raise you up."128
II. Who Receives and Who Administers This Sacrament?
In case of
grave illness . . .
The Anointing of the Sick "is not a sacrament for those only who are at
the point of death. Hence, as soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in
danger of death from sickness or old age, the fitting time for him to receive
this sacrament has certainly already arrived."129
If a sick person who received this anointing recovers his health, he can in the
case of another grave illness receive this sacrament again. If during the same
illness the person's condition becomes more serious, the sacrament may be
repeated. It is fitting to receive the Anointing of the Sick just prior to a
serious operation. the same holds for the elderly whose frailty becomes more
" . .
. let him call for the presbyters of the Church"
Only priests (bishops and presbyters) are ministers of the Anointing of the Sick.130
It is the duty of pastors to instruct the faithful on the benefits of this
sacrament. the faithful should encourage the sick to call for a priest to
receive this sacrament. the sick should prepare themselves to receive it with
good dispositions, assisted by their pastor and the whole ecclesial community,
which is invited to surround the sick in a special way through their prayers
and fraternal attention.
III. How is This Sacrament Celebrated?
Like all the sacraments the Anointing of the Sick is a liturgical and communal
celebration,131 whether it takes place in the family home, a hospital
or church, for a single sick person or a whole group of sick persons. It is
very fitting to celebrate it within the Eucharist, the memorial of the Lord's
Passover. If circumstances suggest it, the celebration of the sacrament can be
preceded by the sacrament of Penance and followed by the sacrament of the
Eucharist. As the sacrament of Christ's Passover the Eucharist should always be
the last sacrament of the earthly journey, the "viaticum" for
"passing over" to eternal life.
Word and sacrament form an indivisible whole. the Liturgy of the Word, preceded
by an act of repentance, opens the celebration. the words of Christ, the
witness of the apostles, awaken the faith of the sick person and of the
community to ask the Lord for the strength of his Spirit.
The celebration of the sacrament includes the following principal elements: the
"priests of the Church"132 - in silence - lay hands on the
sick; they pray over them in the faith of the Church133 - this is the
epiclesis proper to this sacrament; they then anoint them with oil blessed, if
possible, by the bishop.
These liturgical actions indicate what grace this sacrament confers upon the
IV. The Effects of the Celebration of This Sacrament
A particular gift of the Holy Spirit. the first grace of this sacrament is one
of strengthening, peace and courage to overcome the difficulties that go with
the condition of serious illness or the frailty of old age. This grace is a
gift of the Holy Spirit, who renews trust and faith in God and strengthens
against the temptations of the evil one, the temptation to discouragement and
anguish in the face of death.134 This assistance from the Lord by the
power of his Spirit is meant to lead the sick person to healing of the soul,
but also of the body if such is God's will.135 Furthermore, "if he
has committed sins, he will be forgiven."136
Union with the passion of Christ. By the grace of this sacrament the sick
person receives the strength and the gift of uniting himself more closely to
Christ's Passion: in a certain way he is consecrated to bear fruit by
configuration to the Savior's redemptive Passion. Suffering, a consequence of
original sin, acquires a new meaning; it becomes a participation in the saving
work of Jesus.
An ecclesial grace. the sick who receive this sacrament, "by freely
uniting themselves to the passion and death of Christ," "contribute
to the good of the People of God."137 By celebrating this
sacrament the Church, in the communion of saints, intercedes for the benefit of
the sick person, and he, for his part, though the grace of this sacrament,
contributes to the sanctification of the Church and to the good of all men for
whom the Church suffers and offers herself through Christ to God the Father.
A preparation for the final journey. If the sacrament of anointing of the sick
is given to all who suffer from serious illness and infirmity, even more
rightly is it given to those at the point of departing this life; so it is also
called sacramentum exeuntium (the sacrament of those departing).138 The
Anointing of the Sick completes our conformity to the death and Resurrection of
Christ, just as Baptism began it. It completes the holy anointings that mark
the whole Christian life: that of Baptism which sealed the new life in us, and
that of Confirmation which strengthened us for the combat of this life. This
last anointing fortifies the end of our earthly life like a solid rampart for
the final struggles before entering the Father's house.139
V. Viaticum, the Last Sacrament of the Christian
In addition to the Anointing of the Sick, the Church offers those who are about
to leave this life the Eucharist as viaticum. Communion in the body and blood
of Christ, received at this moment of "passing over" to the Father,
has a particular significance and importance. It is the seed of eternal life
and the power of resurrection, according to the words of the Lord: "He who
eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at
the last day."140 The sacrament of Christ once dead and now risen,
the Eucharist is here the sacrament of passing over from death to life, from this
world to the Father.141
Thus, just as the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist form a
unity called "the sacraments of Christian initiation," so too it can
be said that Penance, the Anointing of the Sick and the Eucharist as viaticum
constitute at the end of Christian life "the sacraments that prepare for
our heavenly homeland" or the sacraments that complete the earthly
1526 "Is any among you
sick? Let him call for the presbyters of the Church, and let them pray over
him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith
will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed
sins, he will be forgiven" (⇒ Jas 5:14-15).
1527 The sacrament of
Anointing of the Sick has as its purpose the conferral of a special grace on
the Christian experiencing the difficulties inherent in the condition of grave
illness or old age.
1528 The proper time for
receiving this holy anointing has certainly arrived when the believer begins to
be in danger of death because of illness or old age.
1529 Each time a Christian
falls seriously ill, he may receive the Anointing of the Sick, and also when,
after he has received it, the illness worsens.
1530 Only priests (presbyters
and bishops) can give the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, using oil
blessed by the bishop, or if necessary by the celebrating presbyter himself.
1531 The celebration of the
Anointing of the Sick consists essentially in the anointing of the forehead and
hands of the sick person (in the Roman Rite) or of other parts of the body (in
the Eastern rite), the anointing being accompanied by the liturgical prayer of
the celebrant asking for the special grace of this sacrament.
1532 The special grace of the
sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick has as its effects:
- the uniting of the sick person to the passion of Christ, for his own good and
that of the whole Church;
- the strengthening, peace, and courage to endure in a Christian manner the
sufferings of illness or old age;
- the forgiveness of sins, if the sick person was not able to obtain it through
the sacrament of Penance;
- the restoration of health, if it is conducive to the salvation of his soul;
- the preparation for passing over to eternal life.
⇒ 2 Cor 5:1.
3 Cf. ⇒ Mk 2:1-12.
4 LG 11 # 2.
5 Cf. ⇒ Mk 1:15;
⇒ Lk 15:18.
6 OP 46
formula of absolution.
7 ⇒ 2 Cor 5:20.
8 ⇒ Mt 5:24.
⇒ 1 Cor 6:11.
10 ⇒ Gal 3:27.
⇒ 1 Jn 1:8[ETML:C/].
12 Cf. ⇒ Lk 11:4;
⇒ Mt 6:12.
13 ⇒ Eph 1:4;
Council of Trent (1546) DS 1515.
15 Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1545; LG 40.
⇒ Mk 1:15.
⇒ Acts 2:38.
18 LG 8 # 3.
19 ⇒ Ps 51:17; cf.
⇒ Jn 6:44;
⇒ 1 Jn
20 Cf. ⇒ Lk 22:61;
⇒ Jn 21:15-17.
22 St. Ambrose, ep.
41, 12: PL 16, 1116.
23 Cf. ⇒ Joel 2:12-13;
6:1-6; ⇒ 16-18.
24 Cf. Council
of Trent (1551) DS 1676-1678; 1705; Cf. Roman Catechism,
II, V, 4.
25 Cf. ⇒ Ezek 36:26-27.
⇒ Lam 5:21.
27 Cf. ⇒ Zech
29 Cf. ⇒ Jn 16:8-9.
30 Cf. ⇒ Jn
15:26; ⇒ Acts 2:36-38; John Paul II,
31 Cf. ⇒ Mt
33 Cf. ⇒ Am 5:24;
⇒ Isa 1:17.
34 Cf. ⇒ Lk 9:23.
35 Council of
Trent (1551) DS 1638.
36 Cf. SC 109-110; ⇒ CIC, cann.
1249-1253.; CCEO, Cann. 880-883
37 Cf. ⇒ Lk 15:11-24.
38 Cf. LG 11.
39 Cf. ⇒ Mk 2:7[ETML:C/].
40 ⇒ Mk 2:5,
41 Cf. ⇒ Jn 20:21-23.
42 ⇒ 2 Cor 5:18.
⇒ 2 Cor 5:20.
44 Cf. ⇒ Lk 15;
18:18; ⇒ 28:16-20.
46 LG 22 # 2.
47 Tertullian, De Paenit. 4, 2: PL 1,1343; cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1542.
48 OP 46: formula of absolution.
49 Roman Catechism II, V, 21; cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1673.
50 Council of Trent (1551): DS 1676.
51 Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1677.
52 Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1678; 1705.
53 Cf. ⇒ Mt 5-7;
⇒ Rom 12-15;
5; ⇒ Eph 4-6; etc.
54 Council of Trent (1551): DS 1680 (ND 1626); cf. Ex 20:17;
⇒ Mt 5:28.
55 Council of Trent (1551): DS 1680 (ND 1626); cf. St. Jerome, In
Eccl. 10, 11: PL 23:1096.
56 Cf. ⇒ CIC, Can. 989; Council of Trent
(1551): DS 1683; DS 1708.
57 Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1647; 1661;
⇒ CIC, can. 916; CCEO, can. 711.
58 Cf. ⇒ CIC, can. 914.
59 Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1680; ⇒ CIC, can. 988 #
60 Cf. ⇒ Lk 6:36.
61 St. Augustine, In Jo. ev. 12, 13: PL 35, 1491.
62 Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1712.
63 ⇒ Rom
3:25; ⇒ 1 Jn 2:1-2; cf. Council of
Trent (1551): DS 1690.
64 Council of Trent (1551): DS 1691; cf.
⇒ 1 Cor
1:31; ⇒ 2 Cor 10:17;
⇒ Lk 3:8[ETML:C/].
65 Cf. In 20:23; ⇒ 2 Cor 5:18.
66 Cf. LG 26 # 3.
67 Cf. ⇒ CIC cann. 844;
⇒ 972; CCEO,
can. 722 ## 3-4.
68 Cf. ⇒ CIC, cann. 1331;
⇒ 1354-1357; CCEO, can. 1431; 1434; 1420.
⇒ CIC, can. 976; CCEO, can. 725.
70 Cf. ⇒ CIC, can. 486; CCEO, can. 735;
71 Cf. PO 13.
72 Cf. ⇒ CIC, can. 1388 # 1; CCEO, can.
73 Roman Catechism,
II, V, 18.
74 Council of
Trent (1551): DS 1674.
75 Cf. ⇒ Lk 15:32.
76 Cf. ⇒ 1 Cor 12:26.
77 Cf. LG 48-50.
78 John Paul II, RP
79 Cf. ⇒ 1
Cor 5:11; ⇒ Gal 5:19-21;
⇒ Rev 22:15.
80 ⇒ Jn 5:24.
81 Paul VI, apostolic constitution, Indulgentiarum doctrina, Norm 1.
82 Indulgentiarum doctrina, Norm 2; Cf. Norm 3.
83 Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1712-1713; (1563): 1820.
84 ⇒ Eph 4:22, 24.
85 Indulgentiarum doctrina, 5.
86 Indulgentiarum doctrina, 5.
87 Indulgentiarum doctrina, 5.
88 Indulgentiarum doctrina, 5.
89 Cf. Indulgentiarum doctrina, 5.
90 Cf. SC 26-27.
91 Cf. ⇒ CIC, can. 962 #1.
92 Cf. ⇒ CIC, can. 961 # 2.
93 Cf. ⇒ CIC, can. 961 # 1.
94 OP 31.
95 ⇒ Mk 2:5[ETML:C/].
96 Cf. ⇒ Mk 2:17.
97 LG 11; cf. ⇒ Jas 5:14-16;
⇒ Col 1:24;
98 Cf. ⇒ Pss 6:3;
99 Cf. ⇒ Pss 32:5;
100 ⇒ Ex 15:26.
101 Cf. ⇒ Isa 53:11.
102 Cf. ⇒ Isa 33:24.
103 ⇒ Mt
104 Cf. ⇒ Mk 2:5-12.
105 Cf. ⇒ Mk 2:17.
106 ⇒ Mt 25:36.
107 Cf. ⇒ Mk 5:34,
108 Cf. ⇒ Mk 7:32-36;
109 Cf. ⇒ Jn 9:6-7.
110 ⇒ Lk 6:19; cf.
111 ⇒ Mt 8:17; cf.
⇒ Isa 53:4.
112 ⇒ Isa
113 Cf. ⇒ Mt 10:38.
114 ⇒ Mk 6:12-13.
⇒ Mk 16:17-18.
⇒ Acts 9:34;
117 Cf. ⇒ Mt 1:21;
⇒ Acts 4:12.
118 Cf. ⇒ 1 Cor 12:9,
119 ⇒ 2 Cor 12:9;
⇒ Col 1:24.
120 ⇒ Mt 10:8.
121 Cf. ⇒ Jn 6:54,
⇒ 1 Cor
122 ⇒ Jas 5:14-15.
123 Cf. Council of Constantinople II (553) DS 216; Council of
(1439) 1324- 1325; Council of Trent (1551) 1695-1696; 1716-1717.
124 Council of Trent (1551): DS 1695; cf. ⇒ Mk
6:13; ⇒ Jas 5:14-15.
125 Cf. Council of Trent (1551) DS 1696.
126 Paul VI, apostolic constitution, Sacram unctionem infirmorum,
November 30, 1972.
127 Cf. SC 73.
128 Cf. ⇒ CIC, Can. 847 # 1.
129 SC 73; cf. ⇒ CIC, Cann. 1004 # 1;
⇒ 1007; CCEO,
130 Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1697; 1719;
⇒ CIC, Can. 1003; CCEO, Can. 739 # 1.
131 Cf. SC 27.
132 ⇒ Jas 5:14.
133 Cf. ⇒ Jas 5:15.
134 Cf. ⇒ Heb 2:15.
135 Cf. Council of Florence (1439): DS 1325.
136 Jas 515; cf. Council of
Trent (1551): DS 1717.
137 LG 11 # 2.
138 Council of Trent (1551): DS 1698.
139 Council of Trent (1551): DS 1694.
140 ⇒ Jn 6:54.
141 Cf. ⇒ Jn 13:1.
Back to Catechism of the Catholic Church Index
Recommend this page to your friend!