Anointing the sick

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I am trying to locate info on the indulgence that can be granted a person near death and its relationship to the apostolic pardon.  You and I discussed at the time of the Covid pandemic. Unfortunately I cannot locate the document you provided. Please advise. Appreciate your patience and your help.


A: The rite of anointing the sick includes two versions of the Apostolic Pardon, which in Latin is called Plenary Indulgence. I’m sure that will get clarified in the revised English translation.

The Enchiridion on Indulgences #28 says this: “To the faithful in danger of death, who cannot be assisted by a priest to bring them the sacraments and impart the Apostolic Blessing with its plenary indulgence (see can. 468, 2 of Code of Canon Law), Holy Mother Church nevertheless grants a plenary indulgence to be acquired at the point of death, provided they are properly disposed and have been in the habit of reciting some prayers during their lifetime. The use of a crucifix or a cross to gain this indulgence is praiseworthy. 

The condition: provided they have been in the habit of reciting some prayers during their lifetime supplies in such cases for the three usual conditions required for the gaining of a plenary indulgence.” 

Many priests and even the most faithful Catholics do not know this. A priest need not be present at the moment of death for a person to obtain a plenary indulgence for the dying.