Catholic church paid £30k by NHS for last rites

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HEALTH bosses have been urged to scrap a deal that sees the NHS pay tens of thousands of pounds a year to the Roman Catholic Church.

NHS Lothian has entered into a “service level agreement” with the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh to provide out-of-hours spiritual care, costing £30,000 a year, largely to ensure critically ill Catholics are read their last rites.

The church, which is the only religious organisation with which the health board has a specific agreement, said it was “long-standing practice” that cash was paid to organisations providing services to hospitals.

However, secular campaigners branded the payment “ridiculous” at a time when the NHS is becoming increasingly cash-strapped and said the church should foot the bill.

Written By: Edinburgh News
continue to source article at edinburghnews.scotsman.com

26 COMMENTS

  1. However, secular campaigners branded the payment “ridiculous” at a time when the NHS is becoming increasingly cash-strapped and said the church should foot the bill.

    It is indeed ridiculous. Other visitors are not paid to give reassurance to the sick or dying, nor should they be.

    If priests want to visit their parishioners and the patients want this, that is their private business: – especially if the Catholic parishioners have been paying the church for membership.
    It is not a public responsibility.

    • In reply to #1 by Alan4discussion:

      However, secular campaigners branded the payment “ridiculous” at a time when the NHS is becoming increasingly cash-strapped and said the church should foot the bill.

      It is indeed ridiculous. Other visitors are not paid to give reassurance to the sick or dying, nor should they be.

      If priests want…

      And the priest only gets a tenner, so where is the rest going? Straight into the jewelry account of the pope.

  2. Ridiculous doesn’t quite do it. It is crooked, fraudulent superstitious mountebank drivel. It is cruel exploitation of the vulnerable. It is the equivalent of paying for lucky heather from gypsies or a dollar a bottle for gripe from travelling quacks and what do they do with the money? Why, they trouser it and use it to build bishops palaces.

  3. Much as we atheists object, we should be comparing the priests to some of the overpaid bureaucrats who treat the NHS as a cash cow and give nothing in return. (At least the priests offer some comfort).

    • In reply to #3 by old-toy-boy:

      Much as we atheists object, we should be comparing the priests to some of the overpaid bureaucrats who treat the NHS as a cash cow and give nothing in return. (At least the priests offer some comfort).

      This seems like a strange response. The article specifically says other religions are NOT paid for this service and you want to compare it to some completely different activity that is in no way comparable not the exact same thing?

      It may also be worth passing on some kind of real world example rather than smearing some random people. Facts please.

      This is actually real and happening right now, something can be done right now. It looks like you have a great deal more work to address the issue you raised whatever it is.

        • In reply to #16 by Stevehill:

          In reply to #12 by alaskansee:

          The article specifically says other religions are NOT paid for this service

          The article is wrong. See my previous post.

          Shit! That is bad news but now that you mention it I kind of remember that number.

          Doesn’t change the point though, let’s bin ‘em all and not smear anyone while we do it.

        • In reply to #16 by Stevehill:

          In reply to #12 by alaskansee:

          The article specifically says other religions are NOT paid for this service

          The article is wrong. See my previous post.

          This article is about the NHS in Edinburgh,Scotland.
          The Scottish NHS is & always has been separate from the other parts of the UK,just like up here the CofE is just another church,like the RCC,Jewis,Islamic faiths.
          Scotland does NOT have an established church.

  4. Whaaaat. I can’t believe I’m reading this.

    I would not deny a critically ill believer their right to the comfort of their priests or vicars or imams. What I would expect is that that is part of any priest etcs job description. Caring for their flock free of charge when needed. Not at a cost to the public purse in a cash strapped NHS. What a bunch of money grabbing arseholes. Where is their Christian charity.

    Oh and I know nurses that work beyond their shifts without payment to stay with someone who is dying and needs comfort!!! Far more worthy than a priest it would seem.

  5. I have told the story before, but my grandmother, who attended church daily was denied last rights by her parish priest because her “envelopes” were not up to date. She had BRAIN CANCER. It is a pyramid scheme and will be defended to the death by those that profit from it. Make no mistake, they are ruthless and money grubbing. They close unprofitable parishes left and right. They can do nothing that will dissuade the “loyal believers” from their stance. So, they have excelled at testing those limits.

    They used to call it extreme unction. My Nan was denied hers. Extreme shame shame shame. Now they call it last rights. Rights, indeed.

    • In reply to #5 by crookedshoes:

      I have told the story before, but my grandmother, who attended church daily was denied last rights by her parish priest because her “envelopes” were not up to date. She had BRAIN CANCER. It is a pyramid scheme and will be defended to the death by those that profit from it. Make no mistake, they a…

      that is sooo horrible! I wonder if we could find statistics on last rites refusals as evidence of death bed deconversions?

      one of my greatest fears is finding myself in hospital unable to hiss out load and having some leering old git ushered in to practice his hand-jive over me. I hope if the time comes my failure to pay up is taken into account

      • In reply to #18 by SaganTheCat:

        In reply to #5 by crookedshoes:

        I have told the story before, but my grandmother, who attended church daily was denied last rights by her parish priest because her “envelopes” were not up to date. She had BRAIN CANCER. It is a pyramid scheme and will be defended to the death by those that profit…

        4 Points

        1. It’s last RITES (as in ceremonious) not RIGHTS (as in entitlement).

        2. That said any Catholic practicing or not has a right to the rite. There is no evidence required other than one of being a Catholic. Since most people still contribute by cash not in an envelope, how do they know who is up to date with their ‘subs’ ?

        3. Even non-Catholics can receive an ‘anointing of the sick’ on request – many do. I was coincidentally told a story a few weeks ago by a priest about a woman dying in hospital surrounded by her family. He was approached by a family member who said they were a mix of nominal Christians and non-believers but could he do anything for her/them. He anointed her and said a prayer and then said ‘there’s nothing to stop you doing the same -here’s the oil’. They all anointed her with the oil and he said it was one of the most moving experiences of his life.

        4. Crooked Shoe’s story is shocking and should have been reported to the priest’s Bishop. I can’t comment any further than that because try as I might I cannot think of any reason on earth which would prevent a minister administering the last rites and I am totally dumb struck by this story.

        • In reply to #19 by Lancshoop:

          In reply to #18 by SaganTheCat:

          In reply to #5 by crookedshoes:

          I have told the story before, but my grandmother, who attended church daily was denied last rights by her parish priest because her “envelopes” were not up to date. She had BRAIN CANCER. It is a pyramid scheme and will be defended t…

          1. I have edited my post to correct the spelling. just a typo as “rite” is not a word I use much

          2. not so sure about this. when i was younger, having a priest in the family meant i got the job of bagging up the collections each sunday and by far most of it came in envelopes. this might just be a UK thing as the envelopes contained an agreed regular amount that ensured the church received a tax rebate. Naturally parishioners were encouraged to pay this way.

          3. Indeed, and a lay person may also carry out catholic sacrements in extreme cases. my only concern is being in a postion where no one realised the sight of a priest is the exact opposite of what I want my last view to be of

          4. In truth Crokked’s story is off topic, as a priest hanging round hospitals is probably glad for something to do while he’s there, as opposed to having to leave ones comfy home (possibly in bad weather) to go and comfort an old lady when there’s bound to be some sort of get-out clause

          • In reply to #20 by SaganTheCat:

            In reply to #19 by Lancshoop:

            In reply to #18 by SaganTheCat:

            In reply to #5 by crookedshoes:

            I have told the story before, but my grandmother, who attended church daily was denied last rights by her parish priest because her “envelopes” were not up to date. She had BRAIN CANCER. It is a pyrami…

            1.No probs I was just clarifying not criticising. – I had to look up anointing to see if it was 1 ‘n’ or 2 !
            2. I’m UK – we do have envelopes which entitles Church to claim tax rebate on gift aid scheme. I have no info on what percentage of takings is done by this though, my guess is less than 50%
            3. I don’t think a priest would be called to you unless you or your family requested it.
            4. Priests don’t hang around hospitals, they are on call 24/7 and respond accordingly. The priest in my story had gone to hospital whilst on duty and was approached as he was on his way out.

          • She could have gotten extreme unction from the hospital staff priest. She wanted and requested her favorite parish priest. I am confused by my post being off topic. The OP’s title involves paying for last rites. My Nan was suffering and scared (and behind on her contributions due to extended illness) and was denied in her time of need.

            The envelopes here in the US have bar codes on them that identify the contributor. They track your donations. And, if you have a child in the school associated with the church and fall behind on your contributions, they tag you for extra tuition. Every one else (who is current) gets a “break” you pay full.

            They also publish the weekly fleecing in the church newsletter. My wife has worked in a Catholic school for 10 years and I get to see some of the behind the scenes things too. There are good things and bad, this is one of the bad. I do not think it is the “rule” but rather the exception (in my experience) but it happened, it sucked, and was due to paying for sacraments, even in an indirect way.

            In reply to #20 by SaganTheCat:

            In reply to #19 by Lancshoop:

            In reply to #18 by SaganTheCat:

            In reply to #5 by crookedshoes:

            I have told the story before, but my grandmother, who attended church daily was denied last rights by her parish priest because her “envelopes” were not up to date. She had BRAIN CANCER. It is a pyrami…

  6. NHS = National Health Service in Britain

    You could think of it as requesting a bit of custom entertainment just prior to death. I would expect the person requesting the ceremony would be expected to donate, and if they did not, the cost of the ceremony would be taken from the lifetime of donations of that person to the church. There is no reason the state needs to fund this. It could not even be considered alternative medicine. It is not even claimed to heal. It violates separation of church and state by giving a special perk to just one church. But then Britain does not have a proper separation. The Queen is the titular head of a church and the country.

  7. NHS = National Health Service in Britain

    You could think of last rites as like asking for a private entertainment. If the patient did not donate to cover it, then the cost should come out of their lifetime donations. There is no need for the state to pay for it. It is not even claimed to be alternative medicine. It is not intended to heal.

    The Queen is titular head of both a church and the state. The Brits are not very serious about separation of church and state. The state has no business favouring one church over another as they have done in this case. I wonder if some day we will read of the state paying for private final lap dances for Satanist gentlemen.

  8. According to Catholic doctrine, visiting the sick is one of the seven Corporal Works of Mercy. They “illustrate the ways to show charity toward others”, according to http://www.catholicculture.org. That the Church should ask for any monetary payment is not simply wrong, it is a violation of their faith and a denial of one of the foundations of their ministry.

    And no, I am not surprised.

  9. “Over half of the out-of-hours urgent and essential referrals received in the last year were from Roman Catholics, for whom spiritual care often requires the presence of a priest at short notice.”

    So this is only a problem because the catlicks demand this of their followers? Well if they want to insist on this demand let them pay for it.

    Or we should have……..

    £30,000 for Jews
    £30,000 for Sikhs
    £30,000 for Mormons
    £30,000 for Atheists
    £30,000 for Zoroastrians
    £30,000 for Jains
    £30,000 for Animists
    £30,000 for Scientologists

    And on and on and on

    Catlick arrogance knows no bounds.

  10. “Catholic church paid £30k by NHS for last rites”

    The NHS is clearly in a worse state than we have been led to believe!

    Joking apart, this is not unique. The National Secular Society has been campaigning for years to stop the NHS paying millions of pounds annually to all sorts of hospital chaplains from all sorts of denominations and faiths. The cost in 2009 was estimated to be £29 million.

    If religions want to minister to the sick in NHS hospitals, they are free to do so. For free.

    They are not entitled to turn up and announce that they have put themselves on the payroll, reducing the funds available to pay for doctors and nurses.

  11. I am appalled that the NHS thinks that it is reasonable to pay priests for such a service.This should be strictly between the patient and her priest.
    I am appalled,but not surprised that that den of iniquity;the RCC, is happy to receive money under these conditions.

    I am saddened that people actually believe that these useless (and expensive) rituals are neccessary.

  12. “However, the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh said the paper “did not supply any evidence” to support the assertion [of poor service in another RC contract]. The church said the new agreement took three years to set up “because it did”.”

    • Please, please, please…this is platinum standard ! Read the first sentence again, then the second !

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