Clergy should be considered first responders.
Via The Blaze:
The chaos that unfolded in the minutes and hours following two deadly explosions at the Boston Marathon earlier this month was widely reported. But one of the finer details that has been given little attention until now is the role — or lack thereof — that clergy played directly following the carnage.
A new report in the Wall Street Journal claims that faith leaders were very literally banned from the trauma scene. As individuals lay on the ground maimed and suffering from unimaginably-dire wounds, nearby clergy were not allowed to enter to give last rights or even to comfort the victims.
Considering the importance of faith leaders in the lives of millions of Americans, this might come as a bit of a surprise, especially when recalling the much-coveted societal positions that priests, pastors and other religious visionaries held in the past.
Was keeping them out an issue of religious leaders not being available, was it rooted in a purposeful regulation against their presence or was it simply an error made amid pure chaos? As the WSJ notes, the dearth of religious leaders on-site had nothing to do with proximity:
Close to the bombing site are Trinity Episcopal Church, Old South Church and St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine, all on Boylston Street. When the priests at St. Clement’s, three blocks away, heard the explosions, they gathered sacramental oils and hurried to the scene in hopes of anointing the injured and, if necessary, administering last rites, the final of seven Catholic sacraments. But the priests, who belong to the order Oblates of the Virgin Mary, weren’t allowed at the scene.