Yesterday at Medstar Washington Hospital Center in Washington DC, a Catholic chaplain was in the process of administering Last Rites to a heart-attack patient when the patient announced that he is gay. The chaplain, Father Brian Coelho halted the rites.
The patient, Ronald Plishka, became incensed and cursed at the priest. Of course the hospital staff had a snit because Father Coelho did not "adhere to our values". One has to read further down the story to understand that the priest adhered to the teachings of Jesus Christ.
The Last Rites has as an integral part the Sacrament of Confession. Plishka did divulge his homosexuality and his struggle with it. However, he did say about being gay that "you can't be somebody you're not; otherwise you'll end up 63 and alone." In other words, he was justifying his ongoing commission of mortal sin. Without the requisite repentance and resolve to forswear that sin, Plishka disqualified himself from receiving the Last Rites. Owing to his own disposition, the Last Rites would have had no benefit for him and he would have been committing sacrilege to receive them in his state of mind. The Catholic Encyclopedia has a thorough discussion on the Last Rites.
Medstar Washington, the Post, the Blade, etc apparently don't believe in the efficacy of Last Rites. If that is the case, why are they so upset that Plishka didn't receive them? A cynic might think that these entities just wanted to get a Roman Catholic priest to abandon Jesus Christ and bow to the idol of political correctness, but that couldn't be the case for these bastions of tolerance now, could it? Could it? Well call me a cynic. More importantly, call Father Coelho a priest faithful to Jesus Christ.
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