The considerations of initiating a dying person cover the last major portion of the rites of pastoral care of the sick (275-296). We’ll take it in several posts, starting with the first of six sections of the introduction:
275. The rites of Christian Initiation are normally celebrated over a period of time. This allows the dying person, family, and friends to benefit fully from their celebration. In such circumstances, the rite of Christian Initiation of Adults should be used.
When we get to the RCIA and its 597 sections, plus national statutes, we’ll see how such provisions would be made for a sick person not in immediate danger of death. The Church does place great spiritual value in a gradual catechumenate, based mainly on the witness of the great Doctors of both West and East and their witness in the Christian tradition.
These emergency rites provide a most abbreviated form of baptism, as we’ll see.