Cardinal Just Ordered Invalid Confirmations

Naples Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe delegated the sacrament of confirmation during the coronavirus regime to his parish-priests.

According to (August 26) he recommends them to perform the unction by means of a single use “cotton ball or towelette” – so that there is no direct physical contact between the priest and the faithful.

It doesn’t cross Sepe’s mind that a no-contact confirmation is invalid. On the contrary. He commends the same cours of action for the anointing of the sick.

The Sacred Congregation de Propaganda Fidei declared on 21 June 1788 that the Last Rites could allegedly be administered with wooden sticks in the case of very contagious diseases.

On the other hand, it is clear that the Confirmation is given through the laying on of hands (Acts 8:17) and not through the laying on of cotton balls or towelettes. Accordingly, the Popes Melchiades and Eusebius call Confirmation "the laying on of hands".

Picture: Crescenzio Sepe © wikicommons, CC BY-SA, #newsQctyrmlzey

Fortunately, astute clergy will note a recommendation is not an order. A moment of quiet, non-public explanation with the parents before the ceremony and the entire matter is resolved nicely. The Cardinal is happy he recommended something invalid.

As for annointing of the sick? ;-) pic related.