There is no such thing as a “virtual anointing of the sick.”
This was the clarification issued by Bishop Broderick Pabillo, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, in reaction to a video circulating on social media on the “virtual anointing of the sick.”
In his homily during the Chrism Mass at the Manila Cathedral on Wednesday, March 31, the prelate said one can praying for the sick online, but it is not the sacrament of the anointing of the sick.
“There is no virtual sacrament of anointing of the sick,” he said. “It is necessary for priest to anoint the sick with oil and with the proper prayers, in order to have the sacrament.”
It was the reason, said the bishop, that he celebrated the Chrism Mass despite the prevailing “enhanced community quarantine” in the national capital.
He said the chrism oil and the oil of the sick that were blessed on Wednesday will be distributed to parishes in the archdiocese.
During the Chrism Mass, a bishop blesses the oil of chrism, which is going to be used in baptism, confirmation, ordination of a priest and bishop, and also during the dedication of a church or an altar.
During the Mass, Bishop Pabillo reminded the faithful that they are gifted with the faith for them to give it to others.
The Chrism Mass is one of the principal expressions of the fullness of the bishop’s priesthood. During this Mass, all priests gather at their respective diocesan cathedrals as a sign of unity with the bishop and the brotherhood among priests.