What contribution does spirituality play in coping with an illness? Leda Bergonzi incident

Over the past 20 years, more than 1,300 scientific studies have been published that address the connection between spirituality and disease. The recent visit to Chile of Leda Bergonzi, an Argentine who belongs to the Catholic Charismatic group and is known for her “healing charisma,” attracted thousands of believers and shed light on questions about the role of spirituality when confronting illness.

By Yvonne Sanchez

Since then they call her “the healer of Rosario”. leda bergonzi She is a native of this city in Argentina.

For nine years, this 44-year-old woman and mother of five has been exercising what is called the gift of healing in the Catholic Church. But for a few weeks now, several media outlets have been talking about the “Leda Bergonzi” incident, including Washington Post Who dedicated an entire article to him.

Every Tuesday thousands of devotees flock to a large facility in Rosario to attend a mass, where later, during the eucharistic adoration, Leda sings, prays and lays hands on those present. Many people claim to have been cured of their illnesses. And in any case, he has had a profound spiritual experience.

A few weeks ago he also went to Chile with his community breath of the living god Offering this ministry in some churches.

Believers participate in a ceremony at the Maipu Votive Temple in Santiago, Chile on January 6, 2024, where Leda Bergonzi participates.
Believers participate in a ceremony at the Maipu Votive Temple in Santiago, Chile on January 6, 2024, where Leda Bergonzi participates. © Reuters/Francisco Paredes Sierra

'The Healer of Rosario', as people call him, has the support of the Catholic Church.  Here, at the entrance to the Votive Temple of Maipú, during his visit to Chile in early January 2024.
‘The Healer of Rosario’, as people call him, has the support of the Catholic Church. Here, at the entrance to the Votive Temple of Maipú, during his visit to Chile in early January 2024. ©Reuters/Francisco Paredes Sierra

On this occasion, Leda Bergonzi explained that cancer can originate from a lack of forgiveness. A phrase that was probably taken out of its context, but which prompted the Catholic Church to offer clarification.

Doctor Jairo VenegasDoctorate in Public Health and Chairman of the Ethics Committee of the University of Santiago de Chile (USACH), analyzes from an academic point of view the gift of healing, practiced for many years within the Catholic Church:

Mag Health 2024_01_18 Leda Bergonzi Spirituality Illness Long Version f/v 15’56”

But despite the Leda Bergonzi phenomenon, what place does spirituality have in illness? Or rather, does it contribute anything to living with a disease? Doctor Jairo Venegas: ”Well, the truth is that if we start from the PAHO definition of health, its definition also includes spirituality. We cannot separate people from the dimensions that are part of their structure; Spirituality plays a very important role and should be recognized.

1327 scientific publications till now

“Between the years 2001 and 2024, approximately 1,327 publications were found that linked spirituality and religiosity to disease-related topics. That is, researchers are interested in finding out what impact spirituality has on populations, (in relation to) diseases, with well-being… how these aspects may – or may not – and to what real extent , they can influence the development, progression, or even cure of a disease. We are talking about serious articles in the research field of serious universities like Johns Hopkins University or Harvard University.

“There is even work being done on how to create a manual, a document that allows spirituality to be included in the protocols of intensive care units as part of the process of addressing these patients, because It is hypothesized that, in fact, these subjects (patients) help, first of all, to cope with the diseases, make them more inclined to treatment and with a better health condition they can provide not only themselves, but also their families. Can also help.

(TagstoTranslate)Health(T)Health and Well-being(T)Religion(T)Global Health(T)Health(T)Pan American Health Organization(T)Church(T)Catholicism

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