Archive for January, 2014

Demonic Possession or Mental Illness?

From John Sanidopoulos’ Weblog Mystagogy: Demonic Possession or Mental Illness?

Many in the modern world consider the existence of demons to be lunacy, a relic from the dark ages, a superstition.

On the other hand, many years ago I took the three men with developmental disability who I had charge of to a Christian coffeehouse in town one Friday evening. It was during the 1980’s, at the height of the charismatic renewal, and a Protestant ministry. I too was Protestant back then. Not many people were there, and the two men who were wanted to pray for the three men with me for their deliverance. I tried to explain to them that their disability was from physical rather than demonic sources, but they did not seem convinced.

John Sanidopoulos’ article briefly explains the difference between demonic possession and mental illness  from an Orthodox Christian perspective.

Here are other Orthodox Christian presentations on this topic:

Insanity and Demonic Possession in Patristic Thought, by Mother Melania (Salem)

A Discussion: On Mental Illness. OrthodoxChristianity.net

From the Huffington Post: The Secrets of Orthodox Exorcists, by Sasa Milosevic

Concerning Evil  Spirits  and “Internal Demons” The Orthodox Christian Teaching about the Nature and Activity of Satan and his Demons. Our Responsibility for Our Choices and Actions, and How we Struggle Against “Self-temptation” and Addiction. by Archbishop Lazar Puhalo. Synaxis Press

An Orthodox Theological Foundation for Ministry to the Sick and Elderly, by Frances C. Fowler

Picture from: Grapes, Gripes, and Gratitude: The Deaf Period of Mental Illness

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genocide of persons with disability

Francis Galton, eugenics pioneer

Wikipedia: Eugenics

Wikipedia: History of Eugenics

Wikipedia: Eugenics in the United States

J.H. Kellogg, provided funding to help found the Race Betterment Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan

Eugenics is a social agenda in which the human race is to be genetically engineered for improvement. In it’s complete form it involves the systematic elimination from the gene pool of those considered defective, by various means, which have included sterilization, euthanasia, and abortion.

Adolf Hilter

Holocaust Education: Printervenlig udgave Euthanasia – the ‘mercy killing’ of disabled people in Nazi Germany

Adolph Hitler ordered the deaths of those who were considered useless to the agenda of the Third Reich, including persons with disability.

Jeff McNair’s Disabled Christianity: Down Syndrome Genocide   &

Valor Institute:The New Genocide of Handicapped and Afflicted People , by

“An infant has no moral status because he is not self-aware” – Dr. Peter Singer

Dr. Wolf Wolfensberger, researcher and advocate for persons with disability

Wolf Wolfensberger (3rd edition, 2005), 80pp.

A blog post and a short book by two major Christian disability scholars describing the planned systematic elimination of unborn persons who are diagnosed to have a disability by means of prenatal testing in the U.S.A. and elsewhere.

Matt Walsh: I can’t explain why we shouldn’t murder disabled children

(It should be obvious!)

Images from  CCDH Auvergne – psychiatrie demasquee/chronologie

Caritas in Veritas: Should incitement to infanticide be a crime?

Wikimedia Commons, from Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-S33882 / CC-BY-SA & Project Gutenberg

casunbury.net

Sensitivity is the key to ministering to “invisibly challenged” children

From Pravmir.com, June 23rd, 2011. Access the article here:

Dealing with the Less than Obvious:  Sensitivity key to ministering to “invisibly challenged” children

by Wendy Cwiklinski

Wendy Cwiklinski and her husband, Chaplain Jerome Cwiklinski, are the parents of five children, four of whom have been diagnosed with mood disorders and/or autism. She works with parents with children with brain disorders. She holds a diploma in religious education from St. Vladimir’s Seminary and is an MA candidate at Fordham University.

Source: The Orthodox Church, Volume 41, 2005

Picture from ADHD International

Welcoming persons with disabilities into the Orthodox Church

The Body of Christ: A Place of Welcome for People with Disabilities, by John Chryssavgis  (Light and Life, 2002)

Abba Agathon and the Angel

How we as the members of the Body of Christ may proceed to welcome persons with disabilities is summed up in those 15 pages. He speaks of the Church as Communion, the realities of disability, the gifts of people with disabilities, the centrality of the Cross and our inter-dependence, the physical and emotional burdens on families that calls for our support.

There is an inspiring story in the booklet from the Saying of the Desert Fathers about Abba Agathon and his encounter with a person with disabilities: St. Nektarios Monastery: Examples of True Love

Fr. John writes,


“Whenever I reflect on persons with disabilities, I think primarily of persons, not of disabilities.”


This booklet is a wonderful place to begin to orient oneself to the opportunities persons with disabilities present to every Church community.

About the Author

To order from Light & Life

Icon from  Orthodox Road: Heresy and Heretics, Part 2


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