We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Father John----who used to be our unofficial Lutheran spokesman to the world, (before going home to Rome as he termed it)----a job some might say has been taken over by Marcus Borg, though some would argue with this----writes of his near death experience in the pages of IANDS----
By Joseph Bottum
Thursday, January 8, 2009, 10:15 AM
Fr. Richard John Neuhaus slipped away today, January 8, shortly before 10 o’clock, at the age of seventy-two. He never recovered from the weakness that sent him to the hospital the day after Christmas, caused by a series of side effects from the cancer he was suffering. He lost consciousness Tuesday evening after a collapse in his heart rate, and the next day, in the company of friends, he died.
The sacrament people often call Last Rites is officially the Anointing of The Sick. It invokes God's loving and healing. It is true that you rarely hear of it being performed except in cases where death is imminent or possible, but the sacrament is available to any who need it. I have seen it performed in front of a congregation on a member who was chronically ill.
Absolution may also occur with Anointing of the Sick, expecially when death is imminent, but that is a separate sacrament.