CAF administration will close any thread where people with mental health problems in posts actively seek advice on or about their problems and such is given, so please keep any discussion in this thread objective.
Be that as it may, I would point out that being a sufferer myself active in mental health, it is a known fact that besides stigma that is completely false and erroneous in concept, the next biggest problem sufferers many if not all to some degree must deal with is loneliness and isolation…and often sadly it is their own religious communities that subject them to both stigma and isolation hence loneliness spiritually. Because a community of any kind feels inadequate in the face of members with mental illness, very often the easiest option is to cast them out either litereally or emotionally on some available viable excuse.
I was talking to my own psychiatrist this week who underscored that good therapy takes place between sufferers.
While The Cardinal is entirely well meaning and sincere, I will be interested to see how much leaves the written or spoken word stage and becomes practise. But we must start somewhere and trudge on in hope.
Javier, Cardinal Lozano Barragán
President of the Pontifical Council
for Health Pastoral Care,
**Faithful Image of God **
[font=Arial][size=2]Therefore, once the mental illness has caused such a disorder as to take away from the mentally ill patient any responsibility for his actions, qualifying them as separation from the divine will -as a sin- the mental patient cannot separate from God. In other words, the image of God in him cannot be distorted. In this case his knowledge or his volitive option are no longer sufficient to motivate any human action that separates him from God. His bodily and psychic conditions do not allow him to commit a grave sin, given that in his state of disequilibrium he does not have that full knowledge and ability of assent required to sin. [/size]
If we approach the argument from this point of view, whereby the mentally ill patient does not have the knowledge or the faculty of full consent required to commit a mortal sin, his is not a deformed image of God, since that image can only be deformed by sin. Certainly, it is the suffering image of God, but not a deformed image. He is a reflection of the mystery of the victorious Cross of the Lord. Inspired by the image of the Suffering Servant of Yahweh (Isaiah 53, 1-7) we are drawn to a conscious act of faith in the suffering Christ.