Holy Health

A Vatican bishop links sin with sickness.

When a Vatican bishop told reporters at a press conference that "there is a link between sin and sickness," the Italian press nearly vomited. La Repubblica asked if Arnold Schwarzenegger would be canonized, while La Stampa noted the longevity of Genghis Khan and the Marquis de Sade. But Monsignor Paul Cordes held his ground. "I cannot say that someone is sick because he has sinned," he said, "but in the history of salvation, sickness is the consequence of sin." Both disease and sin are forms of evil, says Calvin Seminary president Neal Plantinga, but they're very different. "Sin is a spiritual and moral evil; disease is a physical evil. Sin makes us guilty; disease makes us miserable. We need grace to save us from sin, and mercy to save us from disease."

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April 1, 2002

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