EWTN Catholic Q&A
GOD'S IMAGE IN THE MENTALLY ILL PERSON
Question from Ed on 03-05-2013:

Cardinal Lozano Barragán's Address at World Day of the Sick in ADELAIDE, Australia,on FEB. 18, 2006 stated "that the Mentally Ill Person is a Faithful Image of God."Not as many in Christian thought sees the mentally ill as a deformed image of God.Blessed Pope John Paul II also stated this in an address addressing participants in the international conference sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health-Care Workers "Whoever suffers from mental illness 'always' bears God's image and likeness in himself, as does every human being In addition, he 'always' has the inalienable right not only to be considered as an image of God and therefore as a person, but also to be treated as such" Now to my question I Clearly understand what Blessed Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Lozano Barragán's are saying. There is a broad range of mental disorders, schizophrenia,major depressive disorder,bipolar disorder, and studies have shown that genetics, heredity and biology play a significant role in a person suffering from mental illness. It's not a choice or a person's fault. Do you think that enough is being done by the Church and/or the secular world to help the mentally ill?

Answer by Richard Geraghty on 04-08-2013:

Dear Ed,

Catholics of course can always do more. But the Pope and the Cardinal have already done a great deal in insisting publicly that the mentally ill are images of God and encouraging others to care for them as such.

Dr. Geraghty

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