I was very glad to read that Dr. Meaney has recovered from his health scare…and…I was not at all surprised to hear about the drastic visitor restrictions that caused him to be denied the sacraments. This is occurring all over the country, including here in Rochester.
The reasoning for these restrictions is clear and while I am very much in favor of doing what we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19, he sums up the fundamental problem succinctly:
I do not think some thoroughly secular people grasp the magnitude of the offense of denying a gravely ill or even dying person the last rites of the Church. The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, including Holy Viaticum, can literally make the difference between an eternal destiny in heaven or one in hell.
Ultimately the secular world simply disagrees…and sadly so do many Catholics with perhaps as few as 30% of self-identified Catholics believing that the Most Blessed Sacrament is truly the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
The question is whether the Church in the US and around the world has the political will and moral fortitude to face this challenge.