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Homeopathy and Catholicism: Saintly and Wholesome Medicine

Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na)

June 23rd, 2014  |  35 Comments

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St_Peter's_Square,_Vatican_City_-_April_2007

St Peter’s Square, Vatican City

Years ago I spent four weeks visiting a cloistered convent to instruct the sisters on how to use homeopathy.  Mother Superior, as well as other members had been my clients for some years when they asked if I could teach them some basics in homeopathy enough to rely on it on their own.

Other convents across the U.S. and in distant  areas of the world such as Africa and India have also asked  my advice and  many times I sent a homeopathy kit and my book to boost their often already well-established  knowledge of homeopathy.

Indeed, several Catholic priests have been my clients.  One exceptional one, who influenced me probably more profoundly than I him, married my husband and me years after our civil marriage and later baptized our sons.

In each case, I gave the the gift of homeopathy.  In turn, they gave me deeper connection to my faith.

None of this is unusual.

Why, the use of homeopathy has been permitted, even championed in the Vatican itself for centuries!

Numerous popes have used and supported homeopathy, including St. John Paul II, who awarded the Order of St. Gregory to his homeopathic physician, Dr. Francesco Negro.

Should you not be up on your church history, the Order of St. Gregory is the highest honor currently bestowed on a lay person by the Vatican.

In fact, the Vatican’s association with homeopathy dates back to the advent of homeopathy in Europe in the early 1800s.

The success of homeopathy in treating cholera epidemics was partly responsible for the acceptance and spread of this medical paradigm.

For example, a report delivered to the House of Lords after the cholera epidemic of London in 1854 estimated the mortality rate under allopathic care was 59% while under homeopathic care the mortality was only 9%.

This is in step with what was happening in the Vatican.

Pope Gregory XVI,  awarded the Grand Cross (the highest order he could bestow on a lay person at the time) to the famous Italian doctor Settimio Centamori after his homeopathic treatment triumphantly restored health to those in the Vatican and Italy  who suffered from that horrible disease.

When  doctors were not available, both Pope Gregory XVI and Pope Pius IX permitted the clergy to administer homeopathic remedies to the people of Italy and beyond.

The Jesuits too, have a long history of having counted on homeopathy throughout the world. In fact Ignatia, a common homeopathic medicine for grief and worry bears St. Ignatius’ name.

And, of course, Mother Theresa used homeopathy in her work with the poorest of India, with her order, the Sisters of Charity.

Dr. Banerji, the  doctor with whom I work side by side in Calcutta, knew Mother Teresa and personally confirmed  this to me.

Further,  many Catholic hospitals and clinics throughout the world, in European countries as well as South America and India, had and still today depend on homeopathy.

Why does the Vatican and many offshoots, large medical facilities and governments use this medicine?   Because homeopathy is safe, inexpensive and has the ability to effectively address serious acute, chronic and epidemic diseases.

Why do some think the Church has taken a position against the use of homeopathy?

Unfortunately, some people associate homeopathy with new age. Critics of homeopathy (made up of a conventional, despotic, medical faction most readily poised to lose market share if homeopathy regains a foothold in the medical arena) must  use terms such as “voodoo medicine” to heighten a new-age association and cast suspicion.

It is true that alternative medicine has appealed to the new-age outlook and those interested in Eastern philosophies like yoga and such because alternative medicines tend to recognize that the patient has a spiritual feature, in  juxtaposition to the often sterile and mechanical environment of allopathic medicine.

And so homeopathy has been inaccurately clumped into a particular group by erroneous and unfortunate association.

Although new-agers and hippies have shown an interest in homeopathy in the last decades, I find in my own practice that just the opposite has presented itself.

I largely work with conservative Catholics, traditional Christians including Amish and Mennonites as well as conservative Jews, all of whom love homeopathy because it has helped them and their families.

Perhaps they chose me as their practitioner because they have noted my leanings towards a more conservative lifestyle and felt comfortable with me for that.

Perhaps it is simply my good fortune that I get to work with such a splendid lot.

Since these folks are users of and show an interest in homeopathy, does that make anyone else interested in homeopathy associated with  Catholicism, traditional Christianity,  Amish or Jewish?

Ridiculous!  ( I can’t believe I must even make this argument.)

The manufacturing process of homeopathic medicines cause confusion to the newcomer.

Apparently, one of the points of confusion to those new to homeopathy is the dilution process by which the remedies are made. Since it is not readily understood how something highly diluted can be effective, it has been dismissed by opponents that homeopathy must be something magical.

I chuckled the first time I heard this and a titter in me still reverberates when I think of the sophomoric logic in this argument.

I still don’t understand how a microwave oven works.  But does that mean I ascribe it to magic?

And just as a conventional doctor’s prescription of Ritalin is not influenced by his faith, (Ahem…if it were, he might not write it), a homeopath’s effectiveness is not influenced by his beliefs, religion or lifestyle.

My husband and I have toured large and small homeopathic pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and India where remedies are made.

What we witnessed in every instance was technical and scientific settings, regularly visited by the FDA  (in the U.S.) and other national and international pharmaceutical governing bodies.

Christians, Christians, everywhere Christians

(and everyone else)

 

At this point I hesitate to risk sharing that I often say a prayer for the wellbeing of my clients and students, because it might lead some to think it’s part of some homeopathic ritual or something.

My prayers happen to be Catholic in nature, because that is what I am, but it has nothing to do with the action of the medicines.

It’s simply my personal, old fashioned point of view that prayer augments good in general.

Yet, if one absolutely insists on  casting a religious  hue to homeopathy, it might historically  be one of a Christian note, since it was  largely developed and  practiced by European and  later  Indian and American Christians.

The founder of modern homeopathy, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, was said to be a “puritanical Christian.” His

Monument to Dr. Samuel Hahnemann Washington, D.C.

Monument to Dr. Samuel Hahnemann
Washington, D.C.

writings of the time (late 1700’s) reference his gratitude to God for “permitting” him to discover homeopathic principles.

Regardless of his religious beliefs though, he was a scientist and a noted chemist of his day. He followed very strict scientific method in studying the effects of homeopathic remedies in his data.

Following the adoption of homeopathy throughout Europe, it was the German Christian missionaries who brought homeopathy to India in 1810 while charitably treating the poor and converting many to Christianity.

Today homeopathy is an established medical paradigm there, with clinics, hospitals and medical schools, thanks to those missionaries. What the Indians have done since that time that furthered homeopathy is fodder for a future blog.

Lastly,  allow me to  offer another thought that may help you sort out the difference between the integrity of homeopathy and the kind of medicine that is prominent in North America;  the one you’ve likely been using for decades without giving it a thought.

If how a medicine is practiced on the innocent is a measure of its honor, then we must consider the following.

You will never find a homeopathic physician performing an abortion in a women’s clinic.

Nor will you catch one behind closed doors (while the intentionally clueless mother is assigned to the waiting room) inducing an adolescent girl to take birth control pills.

Indeed, if any questions of legitimacy ought to be asked, should it not be directed at those who perform questionable, nay, immoral practices?

Unlike substantial segments of its modern medical counterpart, homeopathy provides wholesome, non-violent, truthful and curative medicine based on scientific pharmacology.

So, have no fear!

Follow in the path of  customary Catholics,  priests, nuns, popes, Christian missionaries, conservative Christians, an imminent saint and traditional Jews;  yes and even seculars,  atheists, agnostics and  new-agers …  all adding up to over 450 million users of homeopathy on earth today.

Just like owning a microwave, you needn’t hold a particular religion to use it.

So count on this gentle and effective medicine to heal your family no matter your religion or discipline.

After all, it’s simply good medicine.

‘Want to learn more about how homeopathy, Catholocism and Christianity work together seamlessly? Read Dana Ulman’s book The Homeopathic Revolution: Why Famous People & Cultural Heroes Choose Homeopathy.  

For those interested in further study of the compatibility of homeopathy and Christianity, I recommend the book A Christian’s Guide to Homoeopathy by Alan Crook, MA, MCH, RSHom. He sums his argument up well with this statement: “It (homeopathy) is based on a scientific law, and the careful observation of cause and effect…There is nothing in any of this which could be suspected of sorcery or occultism once its scientific mechanism is understood.” (Winterpress, 1996, pg 53).

 

I am a homeopath with a worldwide practice working with families and individuals via Zoom. I'm also a teacher and most importantly, a mom who raised my now-adult children depending on homeopathy over the last 31 years. I lived decades of my life with food intolerances, allergies, and chemical sensitivities until I was cured with homeopathy, so I understand pain, anxiety, and suffering. You may feel that your issues are more severe or different than anyone else’s, but I have seen it all in my practice and in my work in India. My opinion is that nothing has come close to the reproducible, safe and effective results that my clients, students and I have achieved with homeopathy.

Call today and learn how homeopathy might just be the missing piece in your health strategy.


Joette is not a physician and the relationship between Joette and her clients is not of prescriber and patient, but as educator and client. It is fully the client's choice whether or not to take advantage of the information Joette presents. Homeopathy doesn't "treat" an illness; it addresses the entire person as a matter of wholeness that is an educational process, not a medical one. Joette believes that the advice and diagnosis of a physician is often in order.


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35 thoughts on “Homeopathy and Catholicism: Saintly and Wholesome Medicine”

  1. Anne says:

    Thank you for this wonderful post Joette!!!
    I am sending this to my mom and sister and friends who have shared the same hesitations about homeopathy that you have mentioned here. I have enjoyed every moment of my short journey thus far in this extensive medicine and your help has been indispensable! I firmly believe God has put certain people on this earth that have the gift of healing and you are definitely one of them.
    Thank you again and many blessings to you and your work!

  2. Laurie says:

    Thank you very much for addressing this topic. I have a very influential friend in my life sending me articles about the spiritual roots (evil) to this method of healing. I do not see it that way and have greatly benefitted from homeopathy.
    Great article!
    Blessings to you!

  3. Heather Stein says:

    Thanks for writing this blog post! I am a traditionalist Catholic (Latin Mass goer) and have used homeopathy for years now. A friend of mine was concerned that homeopathy was not compatible for Catholics, and I did my own research a while back, and was satisfied that homeopathy is quite spiritually safe.

    Kudos to you for your wonderful work in homeopathy and commitment to your faith—I had no idea you were Catholic! I follow your blog because I am a chapter leader of WAPF and it was a lovely surprise to read this post.

  4. What an informative post! I must admit I’ve never given second thought to homeopathy being acceptable or not as a Catholic. When you break it down, it makes sense that the church would not disapprove of such a safe, moral option for health and wellness. Thank you for sharing the roots of homeopathy and how it ties in with the faith.

  5. Well done. Its a gift from above. The medical Drs. are way off the path set forth by Hippocrates. First do no harm. Great information, keep on keeping on.

  6. Mary F says:

    Thank you for publishing this very helpful note!

  7. Debby Bruck says:

    Dear Joette – I love reading your articles on every “homeopathy” related topic, societal, cultural and even religious bent. We learn through history, biographies and personal stories. Blessings, Debby

  8. Patrice says:

    This is an excellent blog post! Thank you for writing it. I often have to defend my use of holistic and alternative medicine to people who think it’s new age.

  9. megan says:

    i for 1 am Christian. thanks.

  10. Shelley says:

    Thank you for this article, Joette! I am Catholic also and this makes me even more determined to learn homeopathy to help my family and friends.

  11. Amy says:

    Thanks for this great article. This is often a hot topic among Christians. You did a great job with your points. If someone wants a good book on this issue, I recommend “A Christian’s Guide to Homeopathy” by Alan Crook. It is relatively short and easy to read.

  12. Dave says:

    Thanks so much for this, Joette. I am a convert to Catholicism, but followed conventional medical advice for a long time. It was when my wife and I prayed about what we are supposed to eat and how to care for ourselves that we were led to the WAPF and natural methods of healing including homeopathy. God bless!

  13. Bethany says:

    Thank you for writing this article Joette!!! I read it out loud to my husband right away because it was so good to hear someone else make an excellent argument for homeopathy and its use by Catholics and Christians. After hearing Sue Brinkmann on the radio a couple years ago (and having multiple email exchanges with her), I was so discouraged that she was telling Catholics not to use homeopathy. She wouldn’t actually acknowledge that its been used by Popes and leaders of the Church for decades (even by Saints!!!). She also only was familiar with homeopathy by reading books written by critics! I told her that she wouldn’t look to understand Catholicism by reading books by atheists– same thing! I figured the only way to put a stop to ignorance is to start talking about it with everyone I knew, so there wouldn’t be a doubt about it. So, I am elated that you decided to share your viewpoints too! The more the truth comes out, the more gentle healing can occur. I know Mother Teresa is smiling down on you right now!

  14. Dave says:

    Bethany,
    You are right about Sue Brinkmann. She is doing a terrible disservice to Catholics with her writing against so many natural health practices. I wrote an E-mail to her mentioning some of the same points, and how our naturopathic chiropractor is a devout Catholic, etc. but she did not bother to respond.

    She claims to be very science-based, but does not seem to realize that so-called scientific studies can be very biased depending on who is paying for them and the results that they wish to find.

  15. Holly Whittemore says:

    Thanks for the fabulous article, Joette. I am also a traditional (Latin Mass going) Catholic and know many in my parish who use homeopathy. God bless you for all of your work!

  16. Barbara Harrington says:

    I came from a traditional Protestant background. In my early adulthood, I embraced the Baha’i Faith and have followed its teachings for 44 years now. Since I believe to the core of my being that all religions come from God, I was happy to read your views on homeopathy and Catholicism. There are references made in the Baha’i writings that homeopathy is compatible with the views of the Baha’i Faith. Another of the teachings of my faith is the independent investigation of truth, a principle that lead me to homeopathy!
    Thanks for all you do!

  17. Ingrid says:

    Wow Joette – those are very good points you make about abortion and the pushing of contraception on the young!

  18. Faith says:

    From one Catholic to another — THANK YOU!

  19. Hello Joette

    What an excellent article, thank you for defending both homeopathy and your faith. I am a devoted Catholic too.

    I will feature this newsletter in my next one to a large number of South Africans.

    With very best wishes,
    Eugenie Rowson

  20. Philip says:

    Thank you Joette, the info was enjoyable. I have studied homoeopathy for many years. But the sentence I say in 1 on Hahnemann’s books was a note “These are not my ideas. These come from the Creator”. That sentence told me that Hahnemann could see that he was a tool of God. That told me that I could now believe in Homoeopathy. And so it has gone on. The changes that take place is delightful!

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      Amen

  21. Jack says:

    I am Christian and Thank God for Homeopathy !!

  22. Paolo says:

    Thank God for Homeopathy and thank Joette for this clarification

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      Thanks for your kind words.

  23. Silvia says:

    Dear Joette,

    I’ve just got an e-mail from a friend from back home (Slovakia) about how worried she is because we use homeopathy.
    She sent me a link to watch the talk of a christian doctor who was practicing homeopathy and found out that it is from a bad spirit. It is about 1 hour long and she describes how nicely it was working, that she did not need to use conventional medicine on her children. However they were becoming aggressive and having nightmares etc. Talking about how through prayer and Bible she realized that homeopathy does not come from God.
    And this video is being accepted by lots of Christians in Slovakia. Some of my good friends stopped using homeopathy after watching it too.
    It is deeply disappointing for me to see this happening. Especially when they get to experience that our family is completely drug free for the last three years since we stopped the never ending cycle of using antibiotics with our older son and started using homeopathy. Our boys are healthy and happy what should be the best proof. But still, the bad spirit finds its ways how to take the good things from people. It is just striking how common sense is lacking in these cases.
    Thank you for your article. I’m sharing it with everyone I know and will try to translate it so people can get a different view!

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      I appreciate that you’re willing to translate the article to help your friends…and homeopathy.

  24. Jennifer says:

    Thank you, Joette, for this article, as the “energy medicine” accusation is what is holding me back from diving in.

    What I don’t understand is the shaking of the medicines. What is the purpose of that?

    Blessings to you!

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      Shaking is called succussion and it incorporates the medicine into the alcohol; Not unlike when you shake a bottle of salad dressing to incorporate the ingredients.

      1. Jennifer says:

        Thank you, Joette!

  25. Linda says:

    From one Catholic to another thank you so very much for you article(s)!!!! Bless you for all your work.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      Your kind words and Catholic connection is like music to me. God bless you and yours too.

  26. Carolyn says:

    Love your work Joette! A patient of mine shared your site with me today. Being both a devout Catholic and a “holistic” healer I was excited to learn of your work. While I am a Naturopathic Doctor – the Lord is calling me to help his children heal their emotional and spiritual pains. Perhaps our paths will cross someday.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      What a lovely message, Carolyn! I certainly hope we will meet some day.

  27. J says:

    Hello and thank you for this article!
    Can you speak at all to the “paper remedies” or “water remedies”?
    This has given me pause after having a homeopath assist me with an illness and she suggested (since I didn’t have the remedy with me) that I should draw a hexagon and write the name of the remedy on it and put a disposable plastic cup on top. Vigorously stir and use as I would a regular water dose remedy. This doesn’t sound scientific to me and doesn’t cast a very positive light into homeopathy being scientific. Please if you could give some insight into this topic that would be amazing!

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom(Na) says:

      Ask for your money back.

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