Author Topic: Mental Disability?  (Read 375 times)

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Offline Isaiah53IsMessiah

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Mental Disability?
« on: December 22, 2019, 12:51:45 PM »
What is the Orthodox stance on people born with mental disability (mental retardation)? A lot of these people can't understand the message of the Orthodox Church, is there hope of salvation for them? If God wants all to be saved, why does he allow people to be born with mental disabilities?
« Last Edit: December 22, 2019, 12:52:11 PM by Isaiah53IsMessiah »

Online WPM

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Re: Mental Disability?
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2019, 01:36:23 PM »
Yeah, sometimes a mental difficulty could be related to difficult circumstances.
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Offline Ainnir

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Re: Mental Disability?
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2019, 04:09:02 PM »
What is the Orthodox stance on people born with mental disability (mental retardation)? A lot of these people can't understand the message of the Orthodox Church, is there hope of salvation for them? If God wants all to be saved, why does he allow people to be born with mental disabilities?
Salvation is not based on intellectual assent in Orthodoxy, but on the Sacraments and the work of God.  Baptism is in itself regenerative, the Eucharist in itself redemptive.  I don’t know, but could guess that a severely mentally disabled person would function in the Church much the way an infant does.  The infant does not need to understand what is going on in order for them to benefit from the life of the Church.  They merely need to be helped to participate as much as they are able.  God does the rest.  This is how it is for all of us, really.   :)
« Last Edit: December 22, 2019, 04:58:41 PM by Ainnir »
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no idea, so there’s that.

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Offline PorphyriosK

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Re: Mental Disability?
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2019, 05:00:45 PM »
What is the Orthodox stance on people born with mental disability (mental retardation)? A lot of these people can't understand the message of the Orthodox Church, is there hope of salvation for them? If God wants all to be saved, why does he allow people to be born with mental disabilities?
Salvation is not based on intellectual assent in Orthodoxy, but on the Sacraments and the work of God.  Baptism is in itself regenerative, the Eucharist in itself redemptive.  I don’t know, but could guess that a severely mentally retarded person would function in the Church much the way an infant does.  The infant does not need to understand what is going on in order for them to benefit from the life of the Church.  They merely need to be helped to participate as much as they are able.  God does the rest.  This is how it is for all of us, really.   :)

+1

Those who will be the greatest in the Kingdom of God are those who are the most lowly and forgotten here on earth.  Very often the mentally-retarded also have a higher degree of virtue than the rest of us.  The ones I have met have been loving, joyful, selfless, humble, hard-working. 
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Mental Disability?
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2019, 06:02:17 PM »
My sister has brain palsy, she's smart (trilingual, even) and has perfect gross motor skills, but she's very immature and babbles a bit, so she looks worse than she actually is. The first time I brought her to church, I had to stop her when she was going to disrupt the priests during prayer in coffee hour, so after they stopped the archbishop said I didn't have to because she would be treated in the discipline of the innocent, given to children.

So it's pretty easy to me: if an adult has a mentality coherent with a small kid, his pastoral discipline will be like that of a kid. Of course there must be some nuance, though, since intellectually disabled adults and children are very different from each other in expectable actions. Also, priests must be attentive to how disabled their faithful actually are, otherwise they can impose them too much of a lax discipline, hurting their souls.
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Offline CooperDog

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Re: Mental Disability?
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2019, 06:07:47 PM »
What is the Orthodox stance on people born with mental disability (mental retardation)? A lot of these people can't understand the message of the Orthodox Church, is there hope of salvation for them? If God wants all to be saved, why does he allow people to be born with mental disabilities?

Sounds like calvinist talk to me. Man is fallen, things are not perfect on earth, disease and death are mans doing.
That said, even someone with a slower learning curve or someone who cant grasp anything, will be judged by Jesus on their life. I assume (because Jesus never told us) that his love  for mankind will see their affliciton and judge accordingly.

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Offline isxodnik

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Re: Mental Disability?
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2019, 07:18:12 PM »
- there is.
- none of your business.
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Online Brilko

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Re: Mental Disability?
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2019, 09:45:54 PM »
“And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’”

Offline CooperDog

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Re: Mental Disability?
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2019, 02:34:14 PM »
“And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’”

Ive heard the explanation that, because children were treated like 3rd class citizens, having zero rights, were commonly abused and taken advantage of, that Jesus was referring to their suffering and not to their age or intellect. The intellect of poor children at that time was probably not to far off from a poor adult peasant, if we dont count experience gained over time.

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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Mental Disability?
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2019, 02:46:09 PM »
“And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’”

Ive heard the explanation that, because children were treated like 3rd class citizens, having zero rights, were commonly abused and taken advantage of, that Jesus was referring to their suffering and not to their age or intellect. The intellect of poor children at that time was probably not to far off from a poor adult peasant, if we dont count experience gained over time.
BS, that would be a really bad symbol... First, the intellect of normal adults is always superior to that of normal children. People get smarter over age because it's natural (even in the animal kingdom), not because they are urban, modern and have money...
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Offline isxodnik

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Re: Mental Disability?
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2019, 07:16:19 PM »
Ive heard the explanation that, because children were treated like 3rd class citizens, having zero rights, were commonly abused and taken advantage of, that Jesus was referring to their suffering and not to their age or intellect. The intellect of poor children at that time was probably not to far off from a poor adult peasant, if we dont count experience gained over time.

Have you seen young children from well-off families who are regularly given communion? Is there something of the downtrodden and belittled in them?

Let us rather turn to the Holy fathers:

St. John Chrysostom:
Quote
Persuades to be as humble and simple-hearted as the infant, who has neither envy, nor vanity, nor desire for primacy, but possesses the high virtue of simplicity, unkindness, and humility. So, one must have not only courage and prudence, but also the virtue of humility and simplicity. When we have not these virtues, however great our works may be, our salvation is doubtful. The infant, though he be reviled, though he be punished, though he be praised, though he be honored, is neither vexed nor reproached in the former case, nor proud in the latter.
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Offline CooperDog

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Re: Mental Disability?
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2019, 09:25:51 PM »
Ive heard the explanation that, because children were treated like 3rd class citizens, having zero rights, were commonly abused and taken advantage of, that Jesus was referring to their suffering and not to their age or intellect. The intellect of poor children at that time was probably not to far off from a poor adult peasant, if we dont count experience gained over time.

Have you seen young children from well-off families who are regularly given communion? Is there something of the downtrodden and belittled in them?

Let us rather turn to the Holy fathers:

St. John Chrysostom:
Quote
Persuades to be as humble and simple-hearted as the infant, who has neither envy, nor vanity, nor desire for primacy, but possesses the high virtue of simplicity, unkindness, and humility. So, one must have not only courage and prudence, but also the virtue of humility and simplicity. When we have not these virtues, however great our works may be, our salvation is doubtful. The infant, though he be reviled, though he be punished, though he be praised, though he be honored, is neither vexed nor reproached in the former case, nor proud in the latter.

Im not sure what you mean about rich kids taking communion. Saint John is spot on about being simple hearted and pure.
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Offline isxodnik

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Re: Mental Disability?
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2019, 10:53:03 PM »
"well-off families" means families in which there is a father, mother, there is a desire for mutual understanding, and there are no such vices as drunkenness, for example.
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