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addicted to drink, the duty of a priest is to administer the last
Sacraments, as then there is always probable danger of death.

* Rubrics 327, § 78 1.

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With regard to those in delirium, authors assert that Holy
Viaticum may be given to them, provided it is known that they
have lived good lives. But even in this case it is well to test the
patient with an unconsecrated particle by way of guarding against
possible irreverence.

Now I shall set down a list of diseases in which delirium is
usually found or may arise, and make a few comments on the
different diseases specified. I begin with what are strictly called
fevers :

Typhoid Fever,— V^Ih^n temperature is 105° and continued, or
when there is haemorrhage from the bowels, always administer the
last rites of the Church.

Typhus Fever, — A person suffering from this kind of fever
should always receive the last Sacraments, owing to its deadly

Scarlet Fever, — Patient should receive all consolations of relig-
ion when temperature of 105° is persistent and breathing remarked
to be very labored.

R/ieumaHc Fever. — The pulse to be especially noted. When it
is very rapid and breathing is irregular and fitful, there is reason
to administer the Sacraments, especially when pericarditis is

Puerperal Fever, — Always give last Sacraments, owing to un-
certainty of issue. In this case there is hyperpyrexia and conse-
quent delirium, and in fatal stage it assumes typhoid condition.

Brain Fever, — ^Temperature should be carefully watched. In
bad forms the patient is squint-eyed. Best for priest to do all
he can for the sufferer, owing to the large proportion of deaths
from this disease.

Among other diseases not strictly coming under the head ol
fevers in which delirium occurs or may occur may be enumerated :

Pneumonia. — This is recognized by the rusty-colored sputum,
quick-beating pulse, high temperature, with quick respiration.
Priest should especially notice signs of cyanosis. Advisable to
anoint and give Holy Viaticum to a patient over fifty years of age.
This should always be done in case of alcoholic subjects. In
pneumonia there is danger of heart-failure if very severe.

Delirium Tremens ^ induced by drink, — Temperature to be

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watched. If accompanied by pneumonia, all should be done at
once for the patient ; great strain involved upon the heart.

Influenza, — Look for dusky appearance of face. This shows
heart affection and with high temperature is a very bad omen. In
such a case all should be done for the spiritual welfare of the

Erysipelas, — High temperature dangerous. If an alcoholic
subject, chances of recovery are against the person.

Empyema, — If patient shows persistent high temperature and
exhaustion, do all.

Pycemia, — There is here often danger of pneumonia.

Diphtheria, — In such patients there is great difficulty in swal-
lowing and consequently danger of suffocation. Great caution is
required in administering Holy Viaticum. In severe cases the
Holy Viaticum is best omitted. In instances that call for the
operation known as tracheotomy, the sick person should certainly
be anointed.

Phthisical Mania, — Owing to the advanced stage of phthisis
in which this occurs, patient should always be anointed.

Pericarditis, — Of common occurrence in rheumatic fever.
Swelling of feet and legs, irregular pulse, and cyanosis, call for
immediate attention of the priest. In cases where pulsation is
140, there is distinct danger.

Acute Bronchitis, — When there are high temperature and
labored breathing and conspicuous cyanosis, the priest should
administer the last consolations of religion.

Diabetic Mania, — Note thirst; severe thirst is a dangerous

Cellulitis, — Often accompanied by pleuro-pneumonia, some-
times delirium ; general marks of acute septicaemia.

Gangrene, — If of the lungs, generally fatal ; conspicuously
foetid breath. Hence the attending priest should be careful not to
inhale the obnoxious breath of such a patient.

In concluding this paper it is proposed to answer some of the
difficulties that may arise in connection with Extreme Unction and
the administration of the Holy Viaticum.

I. Must a person be anointed sub conditione who has been

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absolved conditionally on account of doubtful dispositions ? This
is a question that may have suggested itself to some of the readers
of the Review in the course of their priestly ministrations. Father
Lehmkuhl * says on this matter, " Neque adjici debet conditio,
' Si dispositus es ' ; extrema unctio enim absolute conferri debet, si
homo capax est unctionis sacramenti valide recipiendi, sub con-
ditione tum tantum, quando dubium est, num valide recipere

One would administer the Sacrament of Extreme Unction sub
conditioner therefore, {a) when there is a doubt as to whether the
person is dead or alive ; {b) when it is doubtful whether a child
has arrived at the use of reason ; [c) when it is doubted whether
the person ever enjoyed the use of reason. To give Extreme
Unction absolutely under such circumstances would be to en-
danger the valid administration of the Sacrament. But when it is
a question of the doubtful dispositions of the recipient, the rule is
either to anoint absolutely or not at all. A man cannot be anointed
" si constet de indispositione." But when it is not certain that he
is indisposed, the Sacrament must be given absolutely. Hence it
follows that should one discover after anointing a sick person that
the Sacrament had been received in bad dispositions, such a one
should not be anointed again, " in eodem periculo mortis," for the
reason that "gratia revivisdt" — the Sacrament having been re-
ceived " valide sed informe." Since Extreme Unction can only
be received once " in eodem periculo mortis," it is classed in this
respect with Confirmation, Marriage, and Holy Orders, in which
cases the Sacrament would not be repeated, though received in
mortal sin.

Concerning this matter St. Alphonsus says in answer to the
question, "An possit dari hoc sacramentum validum sed informe,
ita ut recedente obice gratia conferatur ? " " Affirmant communiter
Suar. Dicast. Salmant. Croix. Palm.," etc. Again he says, " Hinc
inferunt Salmanticenses (ibiden cum aliis) quod si infirmus bona
fide vel sensibus destitutis, sacramentum suscepit in mortali sufficit
quod postea attritionem habeat ad gratiam recipiendam ; secus in
mala fide. Id autem currit, si obex tollatur perseverante eodem
morbo et periculo ; saltem quoad effectum specialium auxiliorum."

» De Ext, Uncty p. 406, § 577.

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To sum up. If a man receive Extreme Unction in inortali, and
his bad dispositions were not culpable at the time (" bona fide vel
sensibus destitutis "), attrition afterwards would be sufficient to make
the " reviviscentia gratiae " ; if, however, his bad dispositions were
culpable at the time, more than attrition would be necessary for
" reviviscentia," i. e., perfect zonXxi&oxv or the Sacrament of Penance.
In either case there would be "reviviscentia." Hence it becomes
clear that all this teaching is practically ignored, if the Sacrament
of Extreme Unction be imparted conditionally on account of
doubtful dispositions of the person to be anointed, because, then,
there could be no " reviviscentia " of something, which by the
very hypothesis of the case had never been given at all.

2. Our next question is : What must be done in reference to
the Paschal precept when a person is not in danger of death, yet
cannot fast ? When a person is suffering from a disease which
does not expose him to a danger of death, yet is a lingering one.
Holy Communion cannot, says Father Lehmkuhl, be given to
one not fasting; although the sick person cannot remain long
without food. But this is a reason, nevertheless, why sometimes
Holy Communion should be given shortly after midnight. For
the law which prohibits the administration of Holy Communion
before (five o'clock), yields to the still graver law which enforces
the reception of Holy Communion sometimes. The law, again,
respecting the hour of administration is not so serious or binding
as the law of fasting.

Let me quote Father LehmkuhPs words : * ** Si autem morbus
diuturnus quidem, sed nullatenus letalis est, S. Eucharistia non
jejuno dari nequit, etsi aegrotus sine cibo diu manere non potest ;
at haec est ratio, cur aliquoties media nocte vix elapsa ad eum
deferri possit vel etiam debeat. Nam lex Eucharistiam non noctu
deferendi ecclesiastica est neque adeo gravis; sumendam esse
aliquando Euchari:5tiam, legis divinae interpretatio est ; neque uUo
modo ecclesia censetur fideles aegrotos adstringere velle, ut potius
non recipiant S. Sacramentum, quam ut noctu aliquoties in anno

As regards people receiving Holy Communion not fasting in
order to satisfy the Paschal precept, " auctores scinduntur." For

* P. 117, De Euch, sect. 161-2.

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instance, Elbel and Witasse maintain that Holy Communion can
be given to one not fasting, but only occasionally ; whereas Toletus
and Toumely assert that it can be given when there is urgent cause,
c. g,, Paschal Communion* Nevertheless it would appear that if
the opinions of theologians were weighed in the balance, the
weight of authority would be on the side of those who forbid the
practice of giving Holy Communion to those not fasting, even for
the fulfilment of the Paschal precept, since in such a case so long
as a person could not fast, the obligation ceases in his regard.
The best authorities suggest that the course to pursue is to take
Holy Communion to such a one immediately after midnight.
Like Lehmkuhl, the best authorities would seem to maintain that
Holy Communion can only be administered to one not fasting
when there is probable danger of death. As regards the adminis-
tration of Holy Viaticum, it can always be given to those not
fasting, when fasting would give rise to any inconvenience.

3. Another practical question is, into how many parts may one
Host be divided. If we go to Lehmkuhl, we find him saying*
"licet tamen, si necessarium est, parvas hostias dividere, sed
summum in duas vel tres partes, ne particula nimis parva evadat."
A consecrated particle, therefore, may not be divided into more
than three parts. In Ireland, I believe, people will fast in order to
receive Holy Communion, when they get wind of the fact that a
priest is going to communicate a neighbor, e,g,, in time of the

4. Another question is this : Is it lawful, by reason of incon-
venience, to give two Hosts, to one person, /^r modum unites f A
decree expressly approved by the Holy See has been issued con-
cerning this matter, S.C.C., Feb. 12, 1679, ab Innoc. XI,**neque
plures hostiae parvae dandae sunt."^ Wherefore it may be stated
that the inconvenience of having to carry back the Blessed Sacra-
ment a considerable distance, for example, does not justify the
administration of two hosts per modum unius. It must be done in
this case as in others — ^for instance, when a priest finds a person
had broken his fast, or is seized with vomiting, or when only a

* ^wVO'Kane : Rubrics, p. 375.

•P. 100,1138.

' Vide Lehmkuhl, p. 100, sec. 138.

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portion of a Host can be administered, he would have to take the
Blessed Sacrament back again. Distance, then, or singular incon-
venience would not warrant the violation of the above decree.
The difficulty that at times arises of having to carry the Blessed
Sacrament about with one, even for some time, and in the public
wards of a hospital, is only part and parcel of what is unavoidable
in a missionary country, — I mean the taking of the Blessed Sac-
rament to the sick without any of those public external signs of
reverence which are due to so august a mystery and which are
strictly prescribed for a Catholic land.

5. Is there any obligation for a person to receive Holy Viati-
cum if he is seized with a mortal sickness soon after receiving
Holy Communion ?

L^t us again consult Father Lehmuhl. He says : * ** Qui subito
in mortis periculo constituitur non certo tenetur ad sumendam
Sacram Eucharistiam, quando prciter una ante hebdomada Com-
munionem sumpsit, inaximc si mortis periculum ex causa intrinse-
cus orta creatur, quae jam tunc praeparata erat. Verum potest
pro viatico etiam ille Sacram Communionem sumere, qui eodem
die, mortis periculo nondum uUatenus apparente, Sacram Com-
munionem ex devotione sumpsit atque postea in mortis periculo
inopinato constituitur, quamquam minime tenetur."

A person, therefore, who has communicated within a week is
under no obligation to receive Holy Vaticum, especially when
the danger of death has arisen from some intrinsic cause ; but such
a one may receive Holy Viaticum, even though he has received
Holy Communion the same day.

Alfred Manning Mulligan.
Birmingham, England.


THIS question has been asked many scores of time and will
continue to be asked for many a long year. The rise of
modem spiritualism is within the memory of most. Commencing
in New York in the Fox family, it spread over Europe very

• VoL II, p. 106, § 146, sec. 4.

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rapidly, so that in the year 1853 '^ could be described as an epi-
demic. Contact with the unseen world exercises a strange fasci-
nation over the human mind, and modem spiritualism seemed to
offer an easy means of communicating with the spirit world, the
existence of which is so deeply ingrained into our nature. It
would be hazardous to attempt to estimate the number of people
who frequent seances ^ just as it would not be easy to count the
magazines and periodicals devoted to spiritualism and which ex-
ercise a most active propaganda in its behalf

When first in vogue, much hostile criticism was evoked and
many were sceptical to the last degree ; but the early enthusi-
asm died away, and with it the early hostility it had evoked.
But spiritualism had come to stay, and nowadays must be looked
upon as an accepted fact. With many it has become a passion
as inveterate as gambling ; for many it serves in lieu of more
healthy religious feeling ; and in others it evokes merely passing

Before we can answer the question, What are we to think ot
modem spiritualism ? we must clearly understand what it is.

The Society for Psychical Research.

In 1882 the Society for Psychical Research was instituted, and
thus announced its object in its opening manifesto : " It has been
widely felt that the present is an opportune time for making an
organized and systematic attempt to investigate that large group
of debatable phenomena designated by such terms as mesmeric,
psychical, and spiritualistic."

Six committees were established with the object of undertak-
ing certain special fields of inquir>^ Of these special questions,
Nos. I and 5 concern us most nearly: "i. An examination of the
nature and extent of any influence which may be exerted by
one mind upon another, apart from any generally recognized
mode of perception. 5. An inquiry into the various psychical
phenomena commonly called spiritualistic ;- with an attempt to
discover their cause and general laws."

After fifteen years of work, during which were published sev-
eral volumes of reports, a summary of the results obtained was
drawn up in 1897 by Mr. Frank Podmore, and published under
the title of Studies in Psychical Research,

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The inquirers have endeavored to marshal as large a body of
reliable facts as possible, and in many cases they have laid bare a
series of astounding frauds, and — what is more interesting — have
found that the most difficult point with which they had to deal
was the unconscious fraud. There lies latent in the human
character in every walk of life an often unsuspected " anxiety to
shine." Reason may suppress it; waking thoughts may make
us blush for it; but it is there none the less, and reappears all too
surely in those states which may be described as " automatic " or
** somnambulic " consciousness. The real source of error, the in-
vestigators say, " is the sub-conscious sophistication of the record
owing to the instinctive tendency of the imagination to dramatic
unity and completeness."

At the same time these inquiries have brought them into con-
tact with many strange events and with many uncanny tales that
demanded an explanation. Apparitions, wraiths, premonitions,
seemingly supernatural powers, trances, phenomena of conscious-
ness, which were beyond the region of fraud, were either to be
suppressed or explained on some philosophical system ; or, if the
worst came to the worst, accepted as real manifestations of the

Here we are concerned solely with the facts brought forward
n favor of spiritualism and with the explanations of them pro-
posed by the investigators on the part of the Psychical Society.

Spiritualistic Seances.

The main features in the spiritualistic manifestations may be
grouped under the heads of — {a) apparitions of materialized spirits,
/. e., spiritual beings seemingly rendered visible by material envel-
opings ; {b) predictions of the future ; {c) minute knowledge of
the past or present of members of the auditory ; {d) levitation of
the human body, as in the case of Daniel Homq, whose body was
said to be frequently raised from the ground ; {e) strange sounds
due to no known cause, such as the playing of musical instru-
ments as they floated, untouched by human hands, through the
air ; also remarkable knocks and rappings often accompanied by
strange antics on the part of the furniture ; and, lastly, (/) a mar-
vellous power over natural forces, such as fire ; this seems to have

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been possessed by several " mediums." All these things were of
common occurrence at the seances, and might be varied to any

Their frequent occurrence, their startling nature, the knowl-
edge displayed of many occult things, enabled the spiritualists to
maintain that they were due to the spirit-world with which they
professed to be in contact. With many it became a species of
religious mania, more especially when answers were returned
which inculcated a certain morality, and which further averred that
this life was but a transitory state of preparation for another or
spirit life.


Let us, first of all, examine the class labelled " apparitions.*'
It would be folly to deny that these have taken place at seances.
Men of culture and integrity have testified to their occurrence.
How, then, can they be explained ? Are they realities ? To take
a case in point When a mother is induced to go to a seance in
order to see her recently-deceased child — ^if she is allowed to see
it, does she see a reality, or is there some illusion ? Waiving for
the moment the element of fraud, one of three answers may be
returned to this question. First, it may have been an ocular illu-
sion ; but this is only to put the difficulty further back. An illu-
sion may arise from the state of the blood, or from the state of the
nerves. Violent migraine will often make us visionaries for a time.
Or it may be that a tiny clot of blood in one of the vessels of the
eye distorts our vision, as Sir Lauder Brunton recently explained
in the Journal of Mental Science (April, 1892). But this will not
explain a persistent sensation, nor one which is shared in by many
simultaneously. Must we then answer that it is a reality ? May
it not be something real, i, e., something objectively outside of us,
yet not what it purports to be ? If we grant the existence of the
spirit-world, can we not readily conceive that spirits may clothe
themselves with material forms, and thus render themselves visible
and palpable to us ? Could they not, moreover, assume the forms
which we wish to see, and thus deceive us into thinking that we
really did see them ?

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Another answer, however, has been suggested which needs
careful examination. There is a force whose existence we can-
not reasonably doubt, namely, telepathy, a force by which one
mind can be acted on by another mind without any physical con-
tact, even though the distance between the two minds be very
great ; indeed, the distance seems to have no retarding or mini-
mizing influence upon this peculiar action. We have a very prac-
tical though very ordinary instance of telepathy in the disconcert-
ing fact that when we have turned round to have another look at
the man who has just passed us in the street we find that he, too,
has turned round to have just another look at us. The same
electrical influence, if we may so call it, may be the explanation
of many feelings which we class as premonitions. Cases are cer-
tainly not rare where persons have suddenly, and for no explica-
ble cause, thought of some one dear to them and felt a strange un-
accountable feeling that all was not well with them, a prevision
which has sometimes been proved to be well-founded. This may
also be the explanation of what are known as " wraiths " — those
sudden appearances of persons lately dead, or just at that moment
dying — ^to others who are dear to them. It may be that the mind
of the dying person is so deeply occupied with the thought of the
absent one, that at the moment when the bonds of the flesh are
about to be loosed, the mind, hardly contained within its own tene-
ment, has a redoubled power of acting upon the absent one, and
thus suddenly appears to him. We say advisedly tnay be^ for we
feel that this explanation of " wraith " is quite inadequate.

It should be further remarked that this action of mind upon
mind is not always merely unconscious, but can at times be
deliberately induced, and a remarkable instance of this is given in
the Records of the Society for Psychical Research :

" v.— From the Rev. Clarence Godfrey.

'* I was so impressed by the account on p. 105 that I determined
to put the matter to an experiment.

** Retiring at 10.45 (November 15, 1886) I determined to appear,
it possible, to a friond, and accordingly set myself to work with all

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the volitional and determinative energy I possess, to stand at the foot
of her bed. I need not say that I never dropped the slightest hint
beforehand as to my intention, such as could mar the experiment, nor
had I mentioned the subject to her. . As * agent * I may describe my
own experiences.

"Undoubtedly the imaginative faculty was brought intensely into
play, as well as the volitional, for I endeavored to translate myself ^
spiritually, into her room, and to attract her attention, as it were,
while standing there. My effort was maintained for perhaps eight
minutes, after which I felt tired and was soon asleep.

"The next thing I was conscious of was meeting the lady next
morning (/. ^. , in a dream, I suppose ?) and asking her at once if she
had seen me last night. Her reply came * Yes.' ' How? * I inquired.
Then in words strangely clear and low, like a well audible whisper,
came the answer, ' I was sitting beside you. ' These words, so clear,
awoke me instantly, and I felt I must have been dreaming ; but on
reflection I remembered I had been * willing * before I fell asleep,
and it struck me * This must have been a reflex action from the per-
cipient* My watch showed 3.40 A.M. . . .*'

Mr. Godfrey received from the percipient on the i6th of
November an account of her side of the experience, and at his
request she wrote as follows :

"Yesterday, viz., the morning of November 16, 1886, about
half past three o'clock, I woke up with a start and an idea that some
one had come into the room. I heard a ciuious sound, but &ncied it
might be the birds in the ivy outside. Next I experienced a strange
restless longing to leave the room and go downstairs. This feeling
became so overpowering that at last I arose and lit a candle and went
down, thinking that if I could get some soda water it might have a
quieting effect. On returning to my room I saw Mr. Godfrey stand-

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