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If a priest would risk his life or even die or in the process, he must offer the sacraments to someone near death. However, as the current Wuhan virus pandemic spreads, various bishops are acting as though that obligation no longer exists.
This point was emphasized by traditional priest and exorcist Fr. Chad Ripperger, who told LifeSite in a recent interview, "If there is somebody dying imminently, then the priest would still have the obligation to give the last rites, because his obligation is the person's salvation over his own physical well-being."
The priest's comments come after Bp. Mitchell Rozanski of Springfield, Massachusetts temporarily banned priests from offering the sacrament of the anointing of the sick.
Rozanski — along with several other bishops — has ordered churches and adoration chapels to close for fear of spreading the Wuhan virus. The bishop also banned the sacrament of penance — prohibiting even drive-thru confessions.
Similar crackdowns on the sacraments are taking place in dioceses around the country, with many canceling confirmation and First Communion at the Easter Vigil for converts — and even suspending baptism for newborns.
Father Ripperger, like others, has called on Catholics to pray earnestly for the restoration of public sacraments.