March 02, 2005

Pain and Suffering


From The Boston Globe (AP): Vatican decries 'religion of health'. (Hat tip Joe Wright via HBL email list)

Vatican officials on Thursday [Feb. 17] held out Pope John Paul II's stoic suffering with Parkinson's disease as an antidote to the mentality that modern medicine must cure all, calling this a "religion of health" that is taking hold in affluent countries.

"While millions of people in the world struggle to survive hunger and disease, lacking even minimal health care, in rich countries the concept of health as well-being figures in creating unrealistic expectations about the possibility of medicine to respond to all needs and desires," said the Rev. Maurizio Faggioni, a theologian and morality expert on the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life.

"The medicine of desires, egged on by the health care market, increases the request for pharmaceutical and medical-surgical services, soaks up public resources beyond all reasonableness," Faggioni said. ...

Psychiatrist Manfred Lutz, a Vatican academic, hailed John Paul, who for years has struggled with Parkinson's, as "the living alternative to the prevailing health-fiend madness." ... "Precisely in the handicap, in the disease, in the pain, in old age, in dying and death one can, instead, perceive the truth of life in a clearer way," Lutz said. "The pope's message is 'suffering is part of life and has meaning," the doctor said.

Posted by Forkum at March 2, 2005 06:03 PM