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Who can validly anoint the sick?


In a recent friendly debate, I took the position that deacons cannot administer the sacrament of anointing of the sick. I eventually quoted canon 1003 of the Code of Canon Law, which says, &quot;Every priest, and only a priest, validly administers the anointing of the sick.&quot; My adversary, however, replied that the canon can&#039;t mean what it says because if it were to be taken literally, then a bishop wouldn&#039;t be able to administer the sacrament either. We both knew that must be wrong. What&#039;s the story?


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