We at St. Katharine Drexel parish of the American National Catholic Church believe that the Sacraments of the Church belong to the people of God to aid them with grace of the way of salvation. The following explanation is redacted from the website: Catholic.org. We as valid Catholics find a clear articulation of our understanding of the theology of sacraments in the following; we differ in our pastoral application believing that they should be administered to all who reverently ask for them.
The history of human salvation is the history of the way God came to people. The first step on this way was the bridging of the gulf separating God and us in the person of the one Mediator Jesus Christ and by his work of redemption. By means of the Church Christ makes his grace available to all. Only in this application of redemption to humankind is the redemptive action of Christ completed. The theology of the sacraments is the story of the second part of God’s way of salvation to us. It deals with the holy signs which Christ instituted as the vehicles of his grace.
The great mystery of the union in Christ of a human nature with the second Person of the Godhead is that the human actions and sufferings of Christ are divine actions and sufferings. The sacraments are a living continuation of this mystery. There are earthly, external signs here which, of themselves, could never acquire any supernatural significance, but the signs of the sacraments have been made by Christ into vehicles of his grace. They effect in us the grace for which Christ made them the sign.
So there are two fundamental ideas which form the foundation for our understanding of the Church’s teaching, on the sacraments. First there is the Church’s recognition; with the sensus fidelium for these instituted by Christ, their number, and their proper preservation and administration; then the grace which Christ has for all time been linked with these signs and which is communicated and effected by them.
The second is the effect of the sacraments. They are the signs of Christ’s work; the effectiveness of Christ’s continuing work in his Church is manifested in how the grace o the sacraments support and maintain our relationship to Christ through the Church. A sacrament, administered properly in the way established by Christ and with the proper intention, gives the grace it signifies. It is effective not by reason of the power of intercession of priestly prayer or on account of the worthiness of the recipient, but solely by the power of Christ. The power of Christ lives in the sacraments. The effect of the sacrament is independent of the sinfulness or unworthiness of the minister. The Church has never tolerated any subjective qualification of the objective effectiveness of the sacraments ex opere operato. This would ultimately be to conceive the way of salvation as being a human way to God and not God’s way to us. We affirm with the Church: There are seven sacraments.
|Extremunction or Anointing of the Sick
They were instituted by Christ and given to the Church to administer to the people of God. They are necessary for salvation. They are pert of Christ’s promise to not leave us orphans, they are outward signs of the inner reality of God’s love. The sacraments are the vehicles of grace which they convey. They are validly administered by the carrying out of the sign with the proper intention. Not all are equally qualified to administer all the sacraments. The validity of the sacrament is independent of the worthiness of the minister. Three sacraments imprint an indelible character.