When hubris combines with ignorance and superstition:
Pope Francis Delivers Special Prayer For End To Coronavirus Pandemic
As the death toll of the global coronavirus epidemic continues to rise, Pope Francis celebrated an extraordinary ritual Friday evening at the Vatican.
The pope prayed for an end of the epidemic and delivered his homily against the dramatic backdrop of an empty St. Peter’s Square, glistening in the rain.
“We find ourselves afraid and lost,” Francis said. “We were caught off-guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm. We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented ... all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other.”
On Friday, Italy reported 919 new deaths from COVID-19, its highest daily death toll. The country now has more than 86,000 cases and more than 9,100 deaths. There are more than 580,000 cases and 25,000 deaths worldwide.
The pope’s “Urbi et Orbi” (To the City and the World) blessing, normally delivered at Christmas and Easter, was livestreamed on social media and broadcast on television and radio.
The pope granted an exceptional plenary indulgence for Roman Catholics across the world suffering from the virus, and for health care workers — but most of all, for those who may die in isolation, unable to receive their last rites.
But I bet he washes his hands, too.
When I read information as below , I think that a more humble attitude to prayer advice from a spiritual leader is justified and should be encouraged .•
Decrease stress-induced hormones
• Reduce pre-surgery anxiety
• Lower the risk of development of various serious diseases • Help the immune system to function
In addition, many recent studies have shown that patients with serious diseases who are prayed for by others actually heal better and faster than do those who are not prayed for
by others. Praying for the healing of others is a form of an alternative medicine method known as “distance healing.” In prayer by others (termed intercessory prayer), attitudes of prayerfulness and holiness and feelings of empathy, caring, and compassion encourage healing.
Studies show that prayer by people concentrating on the healing of either cells grown in the laboratory or animals with certain ill conditions can reduce the growth rate of leukemia cells in culture, decrease the size of tumors in mice, and speed wound healing in
animals. A small, double-blind (meaning that neither the patients nor the doctors knew who was receiving the distance “treatment”) clinical study of patients with
advanced AIDS demonstrated that distance healing reduced the number of new AIDS- defining illnesses, severity of disease, outpatient visits to doctors, number and days of hospitalizations, and mood.
Some doctors feel that better recovery of the patients could occur if the doctors prayed
with their patients prior to and following operations or the administration of powerful medications. Because of the positive research on the effects of prayer and these beliefs about the value of prayer in the healing process, certain medical schools in the U.S. are offering classes in faith and medicine.