Pope's Condition Worsens, Last Rites Given

More sad news for Catholics…

VATICAN CITY (CNN) — Pope John Paul II was given the last rites of the Roman Catholic Church late Thursday night as his health deteriorated, a Vatican source has told CNN.

The sacrament does not necessarily mean that the pope is dying. Last rites — also known as the sacrament of the sick or extreme unction — are commonly given to people who are seriously ill as well.

The pope is suffering from a high fever caused by a urinary tract infection, the Vatican confirmed earlier Thursday — one day after revealing he had been put on a nasal feeding tube for nutrition.Michelle Malkin points out Marc Thiessen’s National Review story, “The Blessed Sounds of Silence,” as an excellent tribute to the lessons this pontiff teaches even in his waning days..

Update: Via The Associated Press comes a report that the Pope is responding well to the antibiotics being used to treat a high fever brought on by a urinary tract infection.

There were reports that the pope received the sacrament for the sick and dying, formerly called the last rites. The sacrament is often misunderstood as signaling imminent death. It is performed, however, not only for patients at the point of death, but also for those who are very sick – and it may be repeated.

Update 2: (4/1 12:55 AM ET) – Vatican: Pope Has Suffered Heart Failure, Condition “Very Serious” [AP]

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