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Pope's Condition Worsens, Last Rites Given

More sad news for Catholics...

VATICAN CITY (CNN) -- Pope John Paul II was given the last rites of the Roman Catholic Church late Thursday night as his health deteriorated, a Vatican source has told CNN.

The sacrament does not necessarily mean that the pope is dying. Last rites -- also known as the sacrament of the sick or extreme unction -- are commonly given to people who are seriously ill as well.

The pope is suffering from a high fever caused by a urinary tract infection, the Vatican confirmed earlier Thursday -- one day after revealing he had been put on a nasal feeding tube for nutrition.

Michelle Malkin points out Marc Thiessen's National Review story, "The Blessed Sounds of Silence," as an excellent tribute to the lessons this pontiff teaches even in his waning days..

Update: Via The Associated Press comes a report that the Pope is responding well to the antibiotics being used to treat a high fever brought on by a urinary tract infection.

There were reports that the pope received the sacrament for the sick and dying, formerly called the last rites. The sacrament is often misunderstood as signaling imminent death. It is performed, however, not only for patients at the point of death, but also for those who are very sick - and it may be repeated.
Update 2: (4/1 12:55 AM ET) - Vatican: Pope Has Suffered Heart Failure, Condition "Very Serious" [AP]


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Comments (13)

My father-in-law died from ... (Below threshold)

My father-in-law died from Parkinson's disease. It is an awful disease and I can see so many of the same symptoms that my father-in-law had in the Pope. He is suffering terribly. He has lost 40 pounds in a little over a month. God Bless him.

My prayers are with him, it... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

My prayers are with him, it sounds like he is getting close to the end.

God gave us on this Earth a... (Below threshold)

God gave us on this Earth a wonderful person for the time Pope Paul II has been with us and I am so grateful for the time he has been here and for his amazing love, intellect and particularly, faith. He's a wonderful work of God, a wonderful work of God. I know that his life in Heaven will be eternal and I thank God for the gift of Pope Paul II.

Leave it to Alphabet soup n... (Below threshold)

Leave it to Alphabet soup networks to screw this one up, too. It is now 2 for 2. I wonder what major screwup they will try to do tomorrow. They have been anti-religion for so long that they just can’t see the light. This ceremony is not the last rights, it is the blessing for the sick and ailing. The Pope was given this blessing, when he was shot and wounded when he first became the Pope.

It is rumored that the shooter has spilled the beans and told the authorities that he was paid by certain people in the old Soviet Union. Hmm, I wonder if ole Rooty Poot had a hand in this?

Actually, the anointing of ... (Below threshold)

Actually, the anointing of the sick is part of the "Last Rites". The Church doesn't use the term "last rites" anymore, too pessimistic. But what used to be called Last Rites are the sacraments of anointing of the sick, reconciliation, and Communion.

The Pope has been a symbol of human dignity in the face of suffering.

Correct Sean, thank you for... (Below threshold)

Correct Sean, thank you for knowing what you are talking about. Any sick person can take the sacrament for the sick, and I highly recommend it for the purification of you non-Catholics.

I highly recommend it fo... (Below threshold)

I highly recommend it for the purification of you non-Catholics.

Except that... uh... they're non-Catholics.

A Muslim might as well recommend Ramadan to a Bishop for getting closer to God. Honestly, can any of you see over the dashboard of your own religious beliefs?

That was a JOKE, Andy. Can... (Below threshold)

That was a JOKE, Andy. Can you see over the dashboard of your dim wit?

I think Andy needs to feel ... (Below threshold)

I think Andy needs to feel the healing power of the Holy Spirit. Andy, have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and savior?

how dramatic.... (Below threshold)

how dramatic.

Uh, guys. I just clicked t... (Below threshold)

Uh, guys. I just clicked the link to that AP story and the story has been replaced by 'April Fools!' with a photo of the Pope doing a little jig.


April Fools.

If only it were so.

Johnny Cochran, Terry Schia... (Below threshold)
Jack Tanner:

Johnny Cochran, Terry Schiavo and the Pope in the same week? Could it be?

It rivals Mickey Mantle and Jerry Garcia week.

At the risk of sounding lik... (Below threshold)
Jim Jindra:

At the risk of sounding like an overly sensitive Catholic, I'd say it doesn't surprise me a bit for CNN to report inaccuately. "Extreme unction" is not the same as "Annointing of the Sick," as the sacrament is presently called. News programs have used the term "Last Rites" to hook viewers, to get people to tune into the death watch.

While McCain is more right than CNN, he is not totally correct. Any sick person should not receive Annointing of the Sick--just those who are near death, the very elderly, and those about to have serious surgery. I would guess the Pope has had the Sacrament a number of times already, especially after the assassination attempt.

Annointing of the Sick usually includes the Viaticum, the term used for the Eucharist during the sacrament, if possible. The purpose of the sacrament, as FoxNews correctly reported, is to provide spiritual healing, as well as physical healing, if it is God's will.






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