Monday, February 05, 2018

Orthodox Religion, Unorthodox Medicine: The Rise of Romania’s Christian Doctors

A new breed of Romanian doctors wants to place faith at the heart of their practice, alarming those who believe religion and medicine do not mix.

Cardiologist Ciprian Fisca barely got any sleep on last night’s shift, and his next one starts early tomorrow morning.

But right now, eight hours before he returns to hospital, there is nowhere he would rather be than in the kitchen of a religious retreat, deep in rural Transylvania, peeling horse-radishes.

The 27-year-old is volunteering his services as a kitchen-hand in the isolated retreat of St John the Evangelist, helping the priests with tomorrow’s meal. Among the small group assisting with the catering are a pharmacy student and Ciprian’s younger sister, who hopes to study medicine herself.

The retreat consists of a modest church surrounded by modern-looking buildings currently under construction, including a canteen, conference centre and accommodation facilities.

The transformation of this remote site hints at the revival of the Romanian Orthodox Church, flexing its muscles after half a century of communist dictatorship.

Once associated with the elderly and the rural poor, the Church now attracts educated youth in the cities, including a conspicuous following of doctors and medical students.

Read the rest here.

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