Summa - Supplement 602
Objection 1: It would seem that bodily health is not an effect of this sacrament. For every sacrament is a spiritual remedy. Now a spiritual remedy is ordained to spiritual health, just as a bodily remedy is ordained to health of the body. Therefore bodily health is not an effect of this sacrament.
Objection 2: Further, the sacraments always produce their effect in those who approach them in the proper dispositions. Now sometimes the recipient of this sacrament does not receive bodily health, no matter how devoutly he receives it. Therefore bodily health is not its effect.
Objection 3: Further, the efficacy of this sacrament is notified to us in the fifth chapter of James. Now healing is ascribed there as the effect, not of the anointing, but of the prayer, for he says: "The prayer of faith shall save the sick man." Therefore bodily healing is not an effect of this sacrament.
On the contrary, The operation of the Church is more efficacious since Christ's Passion than before. Now, before the Passion, those whom the apostles anointed with oil were healed (Mc 6,13). Therefore unction has its effect now in healing bodies.
Further, the sacraments produce their effect by signifying it. Now Baptism signifies and effects a spiritual washing, through the bodily washing in which it consists outwardly. Therefore Extreme Unction signifies and causes a spiritual healing through the bodily healing which it effects externally.
I answer that, Just as Baptism causes a spiritual cleansing from spiritual stains by means of a bodily washing, so this sacrament causes an inward healing by means of an outward sacramental healing: and even as the baptismal washing has the effect of a bodily washing, since it effects even a bodily cleansing, so too, Extreme Unction has the effect of a bodily remedy, namely a healing of the body. But there is a difference, for as much as the bodily washing causes a bodily cleansing by a natural property of the bodily element, and consequently always causes it, whereas Extreme Unction causes a bodily healing, not by a natural property of the matter, but by the Divine power which works reasonably. And since reasonable working never produces a secondary effect, except in so far as it is required for the principal effect, it follows that a bodily healing does not always ensue from this sacrament, but only when it is requisite for the spiritual healing: and then it produces it always, provided there be no obstacle on the part of the recipient.
Reply to Objection 1: This objection proves that bodily health is not the principal effect of this sacrament: and this is true.
The Reply to the Second Objection is clear from what has been said above (cf. Question , Article ).
Reply to Objection 3: This prayer is the form of this sacrament as stated above (Question , Articles ,9). Hence, so far as its form is concerned, this sacrament derives from it its efficacy in healing the body.
Objection 1: It would seem that this sacrament imprints a character. For a character is a distinctive sign. Now just as one who is baptized is distinguished from one who is not so is one who is anointed, from one who is not. Therefore, just as Baptism imprints a character so does Extreme Unction.
Objection 2: Further, there is an anointing in the sacraments or order and Confirmation, as there is in this sacrament. But a character is imprinted in those sacraments. Therefore a character is imprinted in this one also.
Objection 3: Further, every sacrament contains something that is a reality only, something that is a sacrament only, and something that is both reality and sacrament. Now nothing in this sacrament can be assigned as both reality and sacrament except a character. Therefore in this sacrament also, a character is imprinted.
On the contrary, No sacrament that imprints a character is repeated. But this sacrament is repeated as we shall state further on (Question ). Therefore it does not imprint a character.
Further, a sacramental character causes a distinction among those who are in the present Church. But Extreme Unction is given to one who is departing from the present Church. Therefore it does not imprint a character.
I answer that, A character is not imprinted except in those sacraments whereby man is deputed to some sacred duty. Now this sacrament is for no other purpose than a remedy, and man is not deputed thereby to do or receive anything holy. Therefore it does not imprint a character.
Reply to Objection 1: A character marks a distinction of . states with regard to duties which have to be performed in the Church, a distinction which a man does not receive by being anointed.
Reply to Objection 2: The unction of orders and Confirmation, is the unction of consecration whereby a man is deputed to some sacred duty, whereas this unction is remedial. Hence the comparison fails.
Reply to Objection 3: In this sacrament, that which is both reality and sacrament is not a character, but a certain inward devotion which is a kind of spiritual anointing.
We must now consider the minister of this sacrament: under which head there are three points of inquiry:
(1) Whether a layman can confer this sacrament?
(2) Whether a deacon can?
(3) Whether none but a bishop can confer it?
Objection 1: It would seem that even a layman can confer this sacrament. For this sacrament derives its efficacy from prayer, as James declares (Jc 5,15). But a layman's prayer is sometimes as acceptable to God as a priest's. Therefore he can confer this sacrament.
Objection 2: Further, we read of certain fathers in Egypt that they sent the oil to the sick, and that these were healed. It is also related of the Blessed Genevieve that she anointed the sick with oil. Therefore this sacrament can be conferred even by lay people.
On the contrary, Remission of sins is given in this sacrament. But laymen have not the power to forgive sins. Therefore, etc.
I answer that, According to Dionysius (Eccl. Hier. v) there are some who exercise hierarchical actions, and some who are recipients only. Hence laymen are officially incompetent to dispense any sacrament: and that they can baptize in cases of necessity, is due to the Divine dispensation, in order that no one may be deprived of spiritual regeneration.
Reply to Objection 1: This prayer is not said by the priest in his own person, for since sometimes he is in sin, he would not in that case be heard. But it is said in the person of the whole Church, in whose person he can pray as a public official, whereas a layman cannot, for he is a private individual.
Reply to Objection 2: These unctions were not sacramental. It was due to the devotion of the recipients of the unction, and to the merits of those who anointed them that they procured the effects of bodily health, through the "grace of healing" (1Co 12,9) but not through sacramental grace.
Objection 1: It would seem that deacons can confer this sacrament. For, according to Dionysius (Eccl. Hier. v) "deacons have the power to cleanse." Now this sacrament was instituted precisely to cleanse from sickness of the mind and body. Therefore deacons also can confer it.
Objection 2: Further, Baptism is a more excellent sacrament than the one of which we are speaking. But deacons can baptize, as instanced by the Blessed Laurence. Therefore they can confer this sacrament also.
On the contrary, It is written (Jc 5,14): "Let him bring in the priests of the Church."
I answer that, A deacon has the power to cleanse but not to enlighten. Hence, since enlightenment is an effect of grace, no sacrament whereby grace is conferred can be given by a deacon in virtue of his office: and so he cannot confer this sacrament, since grace is bestowed therein.
Reply to Objection 1: This sacrament cleanses by enlightening through the bestowal of grace: wherefore a deacon is not competent to confer it.
Reply to Objection 2: This is not a necessary sacrament, as Baptism is. Hence its bestowal is not committed to all in cases of necessity, but only to those who are competent to do so in virtue of their office. Nor are deacons competent to baptize in virtue of their office.
Objection 1: It would seem that none but a bishop can confer this sacrament. For this sacrament consists in an anointing, just as Confirmation does. Now none but a bishop can confirm. Therefore only a bishop can confer this sacrament.
Objection 2: Further, he who cannot do what is less cannot do what is greater. Now the use of consecrated matter surpasses the act of consecrating the matter, since the former is the end of the latter. Therefore since a priest cannot consecrate the matter, neither can he use the matter after it has been consecrated.
On the contrary, The minister of this sacrament has to be brought in to the recipient, as is clear from Jc 5,14. Now a bishop cannot go to all the sick people of his diocese. Therefore the bishop is not the only one who can confer this sacrament.
I answer that, According to Dionysius (Eccl. Hier. v), the office of perfecting belongs to a bishop, just as it belongs to a priest to enlighten. Wherefore those sacraments are reserved to a bishop's dispensation, which place the recipient in a state of perfection above others. But this is not the case with this sacrament, for it is given to all. Consequently it can be given by ordinary priests.
Reply to Objection 1: Confirmation imprints a character, whereby man is placed in a state of perfection, as stated above (III 63,1 III 63,2 III 63,6). But this does not take place in this sacrament; hence there is no comparison.
Reply to Objection 2: Although the use of consecrated matter is of more importance than the consecration of the matter, from the point of view of the final cause; nevertheless, from the point of view of efficient cause, the consecration of the matter is the more important, since the use of the matter is dependent thereon, as on its active cause: hence the consecration of the matter demands a higher power than the use of the matter does.
We must now consider on whom this sacrament should be conferred and on what part of the body: under which head there are seven points of inquiry:
(1) Whether this sacrament should be conferred on those who are in good health?
(2) Whether it should be conferred in any kind of sickness?
(3) Whether it should be conferred on madmen and imbeciles?
(4) Whether it should be given to children?
(5) Whether, in this sacrament, the whole body should be anointed?
(6) Whether certain parts are suitably assigned to be anointed?
(7) Whether those who are deformed in the above parts ought to be anointed thereon?
Objection 1: It would seem that this sacrament should be conferred even on those who are in good health. For the healing of the mind is a more important effect of this sacrament than the healing of the body, as stated above (Question , Article ). Now even those who are healthy in body need to be healed in mind. Therefore this sacrament should be conferred on them also.
Objection 2: Further, this is the sacrament of those who are departing this life, just as Baptism is the sacrament of those who are entering this life. Now Baptism is given to all who enter. Therefore this sacrament should be given to all who are departing. But sometimes those who are near departure are in good health, for instance those who are to be beheaded. Therefore this sacrament should be conferred on them.
On the contrary, It is written (Jc 5,14): "Is any man sick among you," etc. Therefore none but the sick are competent to receive this sacrament.
I answer that, This sacrament is a spiritual healing, as stated above (Question , Articles ,2), and is signified by way of a healing of the body. Hence this sacrament should not be conferred on those who are not subjects for bodily healing, those namely, who are in good health.
Reply to Objection 1: Although spiritual health is the principal effect of this sacrament, yet this same spiritual healing needs to be signified by a healing of the body, although bodily health may not actually ensue. Consequently spiritual health can be conferred by this sacrament on those alone who are competent to receive bodily healing, viz. the sick; even as he alone can receive Baptism who is capable of a bodily washing, and not a child yet in its mother's womb.
Reply to Objection 2: Even those who are entering into life cannot receive Baptism unless they are capable of a bodily washing. And so those who are departing this life cannot receive this sacrament, unless they be subjects for a bodily healing.
Objection 1: It would seem that this sacrament should be given in any kind of sickness. For no kind of sickness is determined in the fifth chapter of James where this sacrament is delivered to us. Therefore this sacrament should be given in all kinds of sickness.
Objection 2: Further, the more excellent a remedy is, the more generally should it be available. Now this sacrament is more excellent than bodily medicine. Since then bodily medicine is given to all manner of sick persons, it seems that this sacrament should be given in like manner to all.
On the contrary, This sacrament is called by all Extreme Unction. Now it is not every sickness that brings man to the extremity of his life, since some ailments prolong life, according to the Philosopher (De Long. et Brev. Vitae i). Therefore this sacrament should not be given in every case of sickness.
I answer that, This sacrament is the last remedy that the Church can give, since it is an immediate preparation for glory. Therefore it ought to be given to those only, who are so sick as to be in a state of departure from this life, through their sickness being of such a nature as to cause death, the danger of which is to be feared.
Reply to Objection 1: Any sickness can cause death, if it be aggravated. Hence if we consider the different kinds of disease, there is none in which this sacrament cannot be given; and for this reason the apostle does not determine any particular one. But if we consider the degree and the stage of the complaint, this sacrament should not be given to every sick person.
Reply to Objection 2: The principal effect of bodily medicine is bodily health, which all sick people lack, whatever be the stage of their sickness. But the principal effect of this sacrament is that immunity from disorder which is needed by those who are taking their departure from this life and setting out for the life of glory. Hence the comparison fails.
Objection 1: It would seem that this sacrament should be given to madmen and imbeciles. For these diseases are full of danger and cause death quickly. Now when there is danger it is the time to apply the remedy. Therefore this sacrament, which was intended as a remedy to human weakness, should be given to such people.
Objection 2: Further, Baptism is a greater sacrament than this. Now Baptism is conferred on mad people as stated above (III 68,12). Therefore this sacrament also should be given to them.
On the contrary, This sacrament should be given to none but such as acknowledge it. Now this does not apply to madmen and imbeciles. Therefore it should not be given to them.
I answer that, The devotion of the recipient, the personal merit of the minister, and the general merits of the whole Church, are of great account towards the reception of the effect of this sacrament. This is evident from the fact that the form of this sacrament is pronounced by way of a prayer. Hence it should not be given those who cannot acknowledge it, and especially to madmen and imbeciles, who might dishonor the sacrament by their offensive conduct, unless they have lucid intervals, when they would be capable of acknowledging the sacrament, for then the sacrament should be given to children the same in that state.
Reply to Objection 1: Although such people are sometimes in danger of death; yet the remedy cannot be applied to them, on account of their lack of devotion. Hence it should not be given to them.
Reply to Objection 2: Baptism does not require a movement of the free-will, because it is given chiefly as a remedy for original sin, which, in us, is not taken away by a movement of the free-will. On the other hand this sacrament requires a movement of the free-will; wherefore the comparison fails. Moreover Baptism is a necessary sacrament, while Extreme Unction is not.
Objection 1: It would seem that this sacrament ought to be given to children. Because children suffer from the same ailments sometimes as adults. Now the same disease requires the same remedy. Therefore this sacrament should be given to children the same as to adults.
Objection 2: Further, this sacrament is given in order to remove the remnants of sin, whether original or actual, as stated above (Question , Article ). Now the remnants of original sin are in children. Therefore this sacrament should be given to them.
On the contrary, This sacrament should be given to none but those to whom the form applies. But the form of this sacrament does not apply to children, since they have not sinned by sight and hearing; as expressed in the form. Therefore this sacrament should not be given to them.
I answer that, This sacrament, like the Eucharist, requires actual devotion in the recipient. Therefore, just as the Eucharist ought not to be given to children, so neither ought this sacrament to be given to them.
Reply to Objection 1: Children's infirmities are not caused by actual sin, as in adults, and this sacrament is given chiefly as a remedy for infirmities that result from sins, being the remnants of sin, as it were.
Reply to Objection 2: This sacrament is not given as a remedy for the remnants of original sin, except in so far as they gather strength, so to speak, from actual sins. Hence from the very form it appears that it is given chiefly as a remedy for actual sins, which are not in children.
Objection 1: It would seem that the whole body should be anointed in this sacrament. For, according to Augustine (De Trin. vi, 6), "the whole soul is in every part of the body." Now this sacrament is given chiefly in order to heal the soul. Therefore the whole body ought to be anointed.
Objection 2: Further, the remedy should be applied to the part affected by the disease. But sometimes the disease is general, and affects the whole body, as a fever does. Therefore the whole body should be anointed.
Objection 3: Further, in Baptism the whole body is dipped under the water. Therefore in this sacrament the whole body should be anointed.
On the contrary, stands the rite observed throughout the Church, according to which in this sacrament the sick man is anointed, only in certain fixed parts of the body.
I answer that, This sacrament is shown to us under the form of a healing. Now bodily healing has to be effected, by applying the remedy, not to the whole body, but to those parts where the root of the disease is seated. Consequently the sacramental unction also ought to be applied to those parts only in which the spiritual sickness is rooted.
Reply to Objection 1: Although the whole soul is, as to its essence, in each part of the body, it is not as to its powers which are the roots of sinful acts. Hence certain fixed parts have to be anointed, those, namely, in which powers have their being.
Reply to Objection 2: The remedy is not always applied to the part affected by the disease, but, with greater reason, to the part where the root of the disease is seated.
Reply to Objection 3: Baptism is given under the form of washing: and a bodily washing cleanses only the part to which it is applied; for this reason Baptism is applied to the whole body. It is different with Extreme Unction for the reason given above.
Objection 1: It would seem that these parts are unsuitably assigned, namely, that the eyes, nose, ears, lips, hands, and feet should be anointed. For a wise physician heals the disease in its root. Now "from the heart come forth thoughts . . . that defile a man" (Mt 15,19-20). Therefore the breast ought to be anointed.
Objection 2: Further, purity of mind is not less necessary to those who are departing this life than to those who are entering therein. Now those who are entering are anointed with chrism on the head by the priest, to signify purity of mind. Therefore in this sacrament those who are departing should be anointed on the head.
Objection 3: Further, the remedy should be applied where the disease is most virulent. Now spiritual sickness is most virulent in the loins in men, and in the navel in women, according to Jb 40,11: "His strength is in his loins, and his force in the navel of his belly," as Gregory expounds the passage (Moral. xxxii, 11). Therefore these parts should be anointed.
Objection 4: Further, sins are committed with other parts of the body, no less than with the feet. Therefore, as the feet are anointed, so ought other members of the body to be anointed.
I answer that, The principles of sinning are the same in us as the principles of action, for a sin is an act. Now there are in us three principles of action; the first is the directing principle, namely, the cognitive power; the second is the commanding principle, namely, the appetitive power; the third is the executive principle, namely, the motive power.
Now all our knowledge has its origin in the senses. And, since the remedy for sin should be applied where sin originates in us first, for that reason the places of the five senses are anointed. the eyes, to wit, on account of the sight, the ears on account of hearing, the nostrils on account of the smell, the mouth on account of the taste, the hands on account of the touch which is keenest in the finger tips, (in some places too the loins are anointed on account of the appetite), and the feet are anointed on account of the motive power of which they are the chief instrument. And since the cognitive power is the first principle of human activity, the anointing of the five senses is observed by all, as being essential to the sacrament. But some do not observe the other unctions---some also anoint the feet but not the loins---because the appetitive and motive powers are secondary principles.
Reply to Objection 1: No thought arises in the heart without an act of the imagination which is a movement proceeding from sensation (De Anima ii). Hence the primary root of thought is not the heart, but the sensory organs, except in so far as the heart is a principle of the whole body, albeit a remote principle.
Reply to Objection 2: Those who enter have to receive purity of the mind, whereas those who are departing have to cleanse the mind. Hence the latter need to be anointed in those parts in respect of which the mind's purity may be sullied.
Reply to Objection 3: Some are wont to anoint the loins, because they are the chief seat of the concupiscible appetite: however, as stated above, the appetitive power is not the primary root.
Reply to Objection 4: The bodily organs which are the instruments of sin, are the feet, hands, and tongue, all of which are anointed, and the organs of generation which it would be unbecoming to anoint, on account of their uncleanliness, and out of respect for the sacrament.
Objection 1: It would seem that those who are deformed should not be anointed in those parts. For just as this sacrament demands a certain disposition on the part of the recipient, viz. that he should be sick, so it demands that he should be anointed in a certain part of the body. Now he that is not sick cannot be anointed. Therefore neither can he be anointed who lacks the part to be anointed.
Objection 2: Further, a man born blind does not sin by his sight. Yet in the anointing of the eyes mention is made of sins by sight. Therefore this anointing ought not to be applied to one born blind, and in like manner as regards the other senses.
On the contrary, Bodily deformity is not an impediment to any other sacrament. Therefore it should not be an impediment to this one. Now each of the anointings is essential to the sacrament. Therefore all should be applied to those who are deformed.
I answer that, Even those who are deformed should be anointed, and that as near as possible to the part which ought to have been anointed. For though they have not the members, nevertheless, they have, at least radically, the powers of the soul, corresponding to those members, and they may commit inwardly the sins that pertain to those members, though they cannot outwardly.
This suffices for the Replies to the Objections.
We must now consider the repetition of this sacrament: under which head there are two points of inquiry:
(1) Whether this sacrament ought to be repeated?
(2) Whether it ought to be repeated during the same sickness?
Objection 1: It would seem that this sacrament ought not to be repeated. For the anointing of a man is of greater import than the anointing of a stone. But the anointing of an altar is not repeated, unless the altar be shattered. Neither, therefore, should Extreme Unction, whereby a man is anointed, be repeated.
Objection 2: Further, nothing comes after what is extreme. But this unction is called extreme. Therefore it should not be repeated.
On the contrary, This sacrament is a spiritual healing applied under the form of a bodily cure. But a bodily cure is repeated. Therefore this sacrament also can be repeated.
I answer that, No sacramental or sacrament, having an effect that lasts for ever, can be repeated, because this would imply that the sacrament had failed to produce that effect; and this would be derogatory to the sacrament. On the other hand a sacrament whose effect does not last for ever, can be repeated without disparaging that sacrament, in order that the lost effect may be recovered. And since health of body and soul, which is the effect of this sacrament, can be lost after it has been effected, it follows that this sacrament can, without disparagement thereto, be repeated.
Reply to Objection 1: The stone is anointed in order that the altar may be consecrated, and the stone remains consecrated, as long as the altar remains, hence it cannot be anointed again. But a man is not consecrated by being anointed, since it does not imprint a character on him. Hence there is no comparison.
Reply to Objection 2: What men think to be extreme is not always extreme in reality. It is thus that this sacrament is called Extreme Unction, because it ought not to be given save to those whose death men think to be nigh.
Objection 1: It would seem that this sacrament ought not to be repeated during the same sickness. For one disease demands one remedy. Now this sacrament is a spiritual remedy. Therefore it ought not to be repeated for one sickness.
Objection 2: Further, if a sick man could be anointed more than once during one disease, this might be done for a whole day: which is absurd.
On the contrary, Sometimes a disease lasts long after the sacrament has been received, so that the remnants of sin, against which chiefly this sacrament is given, would be contracted. Therefore it ought to be given again.
I answer that, This sacrament regards not only the sickness, but also the state of the sick man, because it ought not to be given except to those sick people who seem, in man's estimation, to be nigh to death. Now some diseases do not last long; so that if this sacrament is given at the time that the sick man is in a state of danger of death, he does not leave that state except the disease be cured, and thus he needs not to be anointed again. But if he has a relapse, it will be a second sickness, and he can be anointed again. on the other hand some diseases are of long duration, as hectic fever, dropsy and the like, and those who lie sick of them should not be anointed until they seem to be in danger of death. And if the sick man escape that danger while the disease continues, and be brought again thereby to the same state of danger, he can be anointed again, because it is, as it were, another state of sickness, although strictly speaking, it is not another sickness. This suffices for the Replies to the Objections.
HOLY ORDERS (Questions -40)
In the next place we must consider the sacrament of Order: (1) Order in general; (2) the difference of Orders; (3) those who confer Orders; (4) the impediments to receiving Orders; (5) things connected with Orders.
Concerning Order in general three points have to be considered: (1) Its essence, quiddity, and parts; (2) Its effect; (3) The recipients of Orders.
Under the first head there are five points of inquiry:
(1) Whether there should be Order in the Church?
(2) Whether it is fittingly defined?
(3) Whether it is a sacrament?
(4) Whether its form is expressed properly?
(5) Whether this sacrament has any matter?
Objection 1: It would seem that there should not be Order in the Church. For Order requires subjection and preeminence. But subjection seemingly is incompatible with the liberty whereunto we are called by Christ. Therefore there should not be Order in the Church.
Objection 2: Further, he who has received an Order becomes another's superior. But in the Church everyone should deem himself lower than another (Ph 2,3): "Let each esteem others better than themselves." Therefore Order should not be in the Church.
Objection 3: Further, we find order among the angels on account of their differing in natural and gratuitous gifts. But all men are one in nature, and it is not known who has the higher gifts of grace. Therefore Order should not be in the Church.
On the contrary, "Those things that are of God, are in order [*Vulg: 'Those (powers) that are, are ordained of God.']." Now the Church is of God, for He Himself built it with His blood. Therefore there ought to be Order in the Church.
Further, the state of the Church is between the state of nature and the state of glory. Now we find order in nature, in that some things are above others, and likewise in glory, as in the angels. Therefore there should be Order in the Church.
I answer that, God wished to produce His works in likeness to Himself, as far as possible, in order that they might be perfect, and that He might be known through them. Hence, that He might be portrayed in His works, not only according to what He is in Himself, but also according as He acts on others, He laid this natural law on all things, that last things should be reduced and perfected by middle things, and middle things by the first, as Dionysius says (Eccl. Hier. v). Wherefore that this beauty might not be lacking to the Church, He established Order in her so that some should deliver the sacraments to others, being thus made like to God in their own way, as co-operating with God; even as in the natural body, some members act on others.
Reply to Objection 1: The subjection of slavery is incompatible with liberty; for slavery consists in lording over others and employing them for one's own profit. Such subjection is not required in Order, whereby those who preside have to seek the salvation of their subjects and not their own profit.
Reply to Objection 2: Each one should esteem himself lower in merit, not in office; and orders are a kind of office.
Reply to Objection 3: Order among the angels does not arise from difference of nature, unless accidentally, in so far as difference of grace results in them from difference of nature. But in them it results directly from their difference in grace; because their orders regard their participation of divine things, and their communicating them in the state of glory, which is according to the measure of grace, as being the end and effect, so to speak, of grace. on the other hand, the Orders of the Church militant regard the participation in the sacraments and the communication thereof, which are the cause of grace and, in a way, precede grace; and consequently our Orders do not require sanctifying grace, but only the power to dispense the sacraments; for which reason order does not correspond to the difference of sanctifying grace, but to the difference of power.
Summa - Supplement 602