Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines and Practices for distinct Church seasons
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Contemplating becoming a Catholic or Coming home
Homosexual and Gender Issues
Life, Dating, and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Anointing of the Sick and end of life issues.
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History

Zach Truax wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am Catholic.

  • I wanted to know when someone receives the Anointing of the Sick or Last Rites,
    is temporal punishment removed from their soul?

I know temporal punishment for sin is still due after Confession and that the purpose of the penance we are given by the priest it to compensate for the injuries done by our forgiven sin and to re-configure us back to Jesus.

I would think it is removed because people receive this sacrament right before death, but I'm not sure.


  { When one receives the Anointing of the Sick or Last Rites, is temporal punishment removed? }

Mike replied:

Hi Zach,

Thanks for the question.

You said:

  • I wanted to know when someone receives the Anointing of the Sick or Last Rites, is temporal punishment removed from their soul?

No, the effects of the Anointing of the Sick are: (From the Catechism of the Catholic Church)

1532 The special grace of the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick has as its effects:

  1. the uniting of the sick person to the passion of Christ, for his own good and that of the whole Church;
  2. he strengthening, peace, and courage to endure in a Christian manner the sufferings of illness or old age;
  3. the forgiveness of sins, if the sick person was not able to obtain it through the sacrament of Penance;
  4. the restoration of health, if it is conducive to the salvation of his soul;
  5. the preparation for passing over to eternal life.

This is why praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory is so important. Purgatory is not a third place or second chance. Think of Purgatory as the Holy Hospital of Heaven.

Our prayers for our friends, family, and loved ones can be offered up for their benefit.

Most people, myself included, have no idea, for sure, whether their loved ones died in a state of pure grace or with remaining self-love on their soul. For this reason, praying for the Holy Saved Souls in Purgatory is very important.

If you are interested in more, check out my web site dedicated to praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory at:

If the dying person had recently met the requirements for either a plenary or partial indulgence, much of that temporal punishment would have been removed.

One other way to satisfy the removal of all their temporal punishment due to forgiven sin is for you to perform an indulgence for them.

From the Catechism:

1471 The doctrine and practice of indulgences in the Church are closely linked to the effects of the sacrament of Penance.

What is an indulgence?

"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints."

"An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin."

The faithful can gain indulgences for themselves or apply them to the dead.

Obtaining indulgence from God through the Church

1478 An indulgence is obtained through the Church who, by virtue of the power of binding and loosing granted her by Christ Jesus, intervenes in favor of individual Christians and opens for them the treasury of the merits of Christ and the saints to obtain from the Father of mercies the remission of the temporal punishments due for their sins. Thus the Church does not want simply to come to the aid of these Christians, but also to spur them to works of devotion, penance, and charity.

1479 Since the faithful departed now being purified are also members of the same communion of saints, one way we can help them is to obtain indulgences for them, so that the temporal punishments due for their sins may be remitted.

1498 Through indulgences the faithful can obtain the remission of temporal punishment resulting from sin for themselves and also for the souls in Purgatory.

I hope this helps,


Eric replied:

Hi, Zach,

There is something available to the dying called an Apostolic Pardon, which is a plenary indulgence. It's distinct from Anointing of the Sick but may accompany it for someone who is on their deathbed.

See Apostolic Pardon From Wikipedia

As the article states:

Prior to the Second Vatican Council, the Apostolic Pardon was called the
Apostolic Blessing.


Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.