Muslims officially surpass Roman Catholics

Vatican: Islam Surpasses Roman Catholicism As World's Largest Religion
The Associated Press


Islam has surpassed Roman Catholicism as the world's largest religion, the Vatican newspaper said Sunday.

"For the first time in history, we are no longer at the top: Muslims have overtaken us," Monsignor Vittorio Formenti said in an interview with the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano. Formenti compiles the Vatican's yearbook.

He said that Catholics accounted for 17.4 percent of the world population — a stable percentage — while Muslims were at 19.2 percent.

"It is true that while Muslim families, as is well known, continue to make a lot of children, Christian ones on the contrary tend to have fewer and fewer," the monsignor said.

Formenti said that the data refer to 2006. The figures on Muslims were put together by Muslim countries and then provided to the United Nations, he said, adding that the Vatican could only vouch for its own data.

When considering all Christians and not just Catholics, Christians make up 33 percent of the world population, Formenti said.


New Carlson MP3

Not Safe, Nor Private, Nor Free: Wendell Berry on Sexual Love and Procreation — a NEW MP3

Allan C. Carlson, President of The Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society, and Founder and General Secretariat of the World Congress of Families

This lecture was given at the conference “The Humane Vision of Wendell Berry,” held October 20, 2007, in Louisville, Kentucky, and co-sponsored by The Intercollegiate Studies Institute, The Philadelphia Society, and The McConnell Center at the University of Kentucky.

It is also available in written form at the Howard Center.


Contraception's "Dolorous Stroke"

C. S. Lewis made an interesting allusion to contraception from a story in Arthurian legend about the misuse of the "Spear of Longinus" - the lance supposedly used to pierce our Lord on the cross.

I was reading an earlier post of mine on
C.S. Lewis and contraception in which I quote from That Hideous Strength, the third book of his space trilogy, an excerpt which refers to a particular character's use of contraception:

"‘Sir,’ said Merlin, ‘know well that she has done in Logres a thing of which no less sorrow shall come than came of the stroke that Balinus struck. For, Sir, it was the purpose of God that she and her lord should between them have begotten a child by whom the enemies should have been put out of Logres for a thousand years.’"

Who was "Balinus" and what did he do?

Balinus (Balin) was a would-be knight of King Arthur's Court. At one point in the legend he sets out to avenge a man slain by an invisible knight traveling under his protection. The villain turns out to be the brother of the Grail King Pellam, and Balin kills him at a feast in Pellam's castle. Pellam goes to avenge his brother, shattering one of Balin's swords. Balin then goes from room to room in the castle to find another weapon. Though a voice warns him not to, he enters the room where the Holy Grail and the lance used to pierce our Lord were kept. Balin seizes the lance and runs the weapon through both of Pellam's thighs. This "Dolorous Stroke" maims Pellam, and turns the Grail kingdom of Logres into a barren land for years to come - the curse for using this sacred spear as a weapon.

So, now we know who Balinus was and what he did. Lewis never ceases to amaze me with the depth of his writings. Perhaps he didn't intend the obvious parallel readers of this blog might draw from his allusion, but it is certainly undeniable that contraception is, indeed, a thing which is turning our world into a barren wasteland. We are on the verge of a demographic winter caused by contraception's dolorous stroke.


"Open Embrace" no longer quite so open?

Originally celebrated by some as champions of the anti-contraception argument, Sam and Bethany Torode have experienced a reversal of opinion. Originally they were big proponents of NFP. But after using NFP for five years (and intentionally having three children during that same period of time) they now see something I have always claimed was a problem with NFP - that is, it is unnatural and quite burdensome. It demands that a couple abstain during the time when the desire to have marital relations is often the strongest.

The Torodes now have no problem with any non-abortifacient method of contraception. In short, this high profile couple who were champions of NFP have joined the ranks of your garden variety "anti-abortifacient" contraceptors. Personally, I never found their book to be something I'd recommend to anyone in the first place.
While they made some valuable points, their ultimate position was never truly anti-contraception, mainly being an apologetic for NFP as the best means of family planning. They were not Roman Catholic and did not hold, as the Roman Catholic Church does, that NFP is only for extraordinary circumstances. In any case, here's the Torodes' new (2006) position from the main page of their web site [no longer online as of 4/1/2009] -


Five years down the road from writing Open Embrace, we’ve inevitably changed somewhat. Since we still get letters from people assuming that we haven’t changed at all, we wanted to give a brief update. We've become parents of three children, and experienced many joys and struggles (from postpartum depression to whooping cough). While we still believe in the importance of family, we're more mellow about encouraging others to have more children.

Our personal experience in the past five years has shown that we had a lot to learn about NFP, and that there is a dark side we weren’t aware of. Though Open Embrace said that it only involves a short period of abstinence, we didn’t know that during breastfeeding cycles it often involves month-long periods of abstinence and dehabilitating [sic] stress. During such times (as well as during menopause and stressful life seasons), strict NFP reaches a point where it is more harmful for a marriage than good.

Where are the Youth?

Rev. Terry K. Dittmer - LCMS Director of Youth Ministry - had these comments to make when a concern was brought to him about the number of youth in the LCMS. (This was part of a larger interview done with The Wittenberg Trail, a networking site for Lutherans) He brings up good points about the issue of the church contracepting itself out of existance, as well as retaining people and sustaining them through their entire life in their faith.

2) Recently I read a statistic that there are "only a little over 100,000 high school youth in the LCMS out of 2.5 million". Why do you think that so few of our high school aged youth are part of the LCMS? Another way of asking that question is, "What is attracting the 100,000 to the LCMS?"

(Dr. Dittmer)
The reason there are so few youth in the LCMS is that we are an aging church and we are not reproducing ourselves. We have had 2.5 million members for the last 30 years. At this time, the average age of an LCMS member is 62. We’re not having children. In that time, our youth population has shifted from 198,000 in 1980 to 102,000 in 2007 based on confirmation statistics. (If it’s any consolation, we aren’t the only church body with this challenge. It’s true of nearly every denomination).
We actually do a good job of retaining our youth. The National Study of Youth and Religion finds that the LCMS is in a category of churches that retains about 86% of its teens through high school. When they graduate, however, in their post-high school years, church connections drop dramatically.


The Culture of Death isn’t really so (Post)Modern after all

On the 12th of April 1204, soldiers of the Latin West made a stop in Constantinople and sacked it. They looted it for 3 days. They raped and pillaged. According to Pope Innocent III they even molested nuns. The Great Schism was now irreparable. The plans of Pope Innocent III to revive Christian enthusiasm through a fourth crusade went terribly wrong. There was a deeper problem than the threat of Islam – the Latin West had spiritual and theological problems.

Historian R.H.C. Davis, Emeritus Professor at the University of Birmingham until his death in 1991 summarizes the problems with the Latin West, (that Innocent lamented at the time), in his 1957 book “A History of Medieval Europe: From Constantine to St. Louis”

The desecration committed by the crusaders was an outrage that reverberated through Christendom and made the schism between the Greek and Roman Churches definitive. Instead of reviving Christian enthusiasm, the conquest of Constantinople demonstrated the cynical lust and depravity which had overcome the Latin West.

What was the cause of this debasement of the ideals of the previous century? To Innocent III it seemed to lie in the fact that the fundamental tenets of Christianity were no longer understood or sincerely believed by a large part of the population. In the great towns of northern Italy and southern France the rapid growth of the population had far outstripped the parochial organization, with the result that many people, receiving none of the proper ministrations of the Church, had fallen a prey to false doctrines particularly to Manichaeism. This was a heresy of Eastern origin, founded by Mani in the third century, and it had spread to the West primarily through the agency of traders. By the end of the eleventh century it had churches in Constantinople, Bosnia, Roumania, Bulgaria, and Dalmatia, and during the twelfth century it was or less officially tolerated by the municipal authorities in towns such as Milan, Viterbo, Ferrara, Florence, Prato, Vicenza, and Spoleto, while in the south of France, particularly in the region of Albi, its success was even greater since the Count of Toulouse and the ruling factions in many of the towns were said to be numbered among its converts.

The central belief of these heretics, who were usually called Cathari, or Albigensians, was in the dualism of the Perfect and Imperfect, the Eternal and the Temporal, the Spiritual and the Material, the Good and the Evil. They believed that God, being perfect, had created only the world of the spirit, which was eternal, and that the material world, being corruptible, had been created by and evil God (Satan, Lucifer, or Lucibel) who was identified as Jehovah, the God of the Jews. Consequently, they not only rejected the Old Testament, but also denied Christ’s Incarnation (for how could God have had a body which was the creation of Satan?) Having thus rejected the central doctrine of the Christian Church, they proceeded to undermine the fundamental institution of society, which was the family. Carrying their belief in the wickedness of all matter to its logical conclusion, they held that it was a sin to add to the amount of evil in the world by the procreation of babies; and while they preached chastity for the ‘perfect’, they declared that prostitution was normally a lesser evil than motherhood. (Davis, 333-334)

This was an issue before Innocent III became Pope and the Church sent many preachers to the effected areas, even St. Bernard. Innocent III intensified the preaching efforts and although the men sent to preach against the heresies of the Cathari repeatedly vanquished their opponents in public disputations, they failed to manage wide spread conversion. According to Davis “The heretics remained obstinate because they were encouraged by their temporal rulers.”

Innocent appealed to Philip Augustus, King of France, to take temporal action against the worse of the temporal rulers of the Albi region, Raymond VI, Count of Toulouse – but Philip was busy fighting King John of England. Emperor Otto IV was busy on other fronts. Innocent III took matters into his own hands and preached Crusade against the Albigensians. The call to arms was wildly successful and in a short time, Raymond, Count of Toulouse who tolerated and supported the Albigensians turned and joined the Crusade against his own people. Shortly after this "crusade", the 4th Lateran Council was convened and Innocent III managed to demonstrate an outwardly unified Catholic Church. The faithful were enjoined to report heretics and the rule was instituted that all Christians must confess their sins to a priest at least once a year, in order to ensure that priests could keep heresy in check amongst the faithful charged to their care.

Is the “Culture of Death” a byproduct of (Post)Modernity or of Latent Heresy?

In addressing the “Culture of Death” in which we find ourselves, quite often we see the problem as a child of Modernism and Marxism (e.g. Margaret Sanger) or of Post-Modernism (too many examples to list). While the spirit of Post-Modernism is our enemy du jour, I believe the enemy is really the same heresy that Innocent III confronted: Manichaeism.

Re-read the citation from Davis. The twelfth century countries listed could be substituted with any country in the present day West. The cities listed could be any modern day metropolis in the West. The region of Albi could be Southern California and Hollywood. Have you seen any of the specials on TV about “The DaVinci Code” in the last few years? Notice how the research leads time and time again to Southern France. The Incarnation is attacked again and again, from long buried heresies “repackaged” to the fantasies of atheists.

As for the general state of belief amongst Christians and the role of the government:

How many times in conversation amongst Christians has this phrase been uttered? “Oh, it is such an evil world, I feel guilty to bring children into it.”

Sounds down right Manichean, doesn’t it?

Prostitution is not necessarily encouraged by any respectable interest group, but pornography and the violations to personal chastity that result from it are widely accepted in Christian circles.

Or to quote Davis, “they declared that prostitution was normally a lesser evil than motherhood.”

Governments and various NGOs are concerned about population in certain areas of the world and instead of correcting political and economic factors that make life especially miserable they simply want to reduce the amount of humans through birth control, abortion and sterilization.

Public Service Announcements run on television discouraging teenage pregnancy with phrases like, “I don’t want a kid to mess up my life.”

The Government not only tolerates the “culture of death”, it is infiltrated by it.

Scientists beam with joy about the beauty of a humanless world on television shows like “The World after People.”

Then we will all be spirits right? Free to enjoy the beauty without the evils of the flesh??

All of this is nothing new. The religion of Mani is still alive and in practice – and it is more alive than most Christians are willing to perceive.

Learning from Pope Innocent III

Even those of us condemned by Trent would have to agree that Innocent III fulfilled the duties of his office by sending preachers out to dispute the Cathars and Albigensians. It is the sacred duty of Church to call sin out for what it is; sin. This is the first part of preaching. The Gospel must follow – there is more mercy in Christ for the greatest sinner than could ever be imagined. The ordained must call out the culture of death in all its forms and bring us to repentance. It is an evil world, but a reduction of the pinnacle of God’s creation won’t make it less evil. Christ’s Incarnation, Crucifixion and Resurrection scream out that the Holy Trinity finds humanity so precious that God would die to redeem it. Our pastors must instruct us about the sins of population control, abortion and yes even contraception – because the Incarnation stands as the ultimate antithesis to such things.

As far as the lack of “ministrations of the Church…” (or organization to support the population) addressed above as one of the causes that Innocent III sought to correct: In America there are churches a plenty, but how many of them truly carry out the ministry of Word and Sacrament? Again we have the same problem as in the 1200’s – the solution is to call and send men who will baptize, preach, commune and absolve but do not want to gain fame with the world. We do not need any more men who want to follow the next fad in American Evangelicalism.

Pope Innocent III, however, made a fatal flaw… one that we must not repeat. He encouraged the laity to arms to root out the heresy from the region of Albi. He had every right and duty in his office to pronounce the government and population of these areas dead to sin, unregenerate and even excommunicate their leaders, such as Raymond VI. The Church possesses the Keys for just such purposes! But our pastors cannot encourage us to arms and to confiscate the property and domain of those who are at odds with the faith and natural law. But those of us who are not ordained do not have our hands tied in such a way that we cannot combat the “culture of death” through material means within the limits of our vocation and citizenship, so long as we do not break the 10 Commandments. We can donate time and money to organizations that fight the culture of death. We can spend and invest our money in ways that uphold the sanctity of life from conception to eternity. We can use the means guaranteed in our Constitution. We can protest. Recall leaders. We can make temporal life for such people in Public Office and Public life very uncomfortable and unprofitable.

There must be a two pronged approach to combating the modern incarnation of Manichaeism and it must be in line with Two Kingdoms Theology. 1. The Church must teach and preach on the subjects of life and call sin as sin. The Church must use the keys when necessary and even excommunicate politicians who have shown themselves as manifestly unrepentant. 2. In the civil realm we must use all tools that are lawful and moral to combat the culture of death.

Manichaeism must be named and stopped.

If God in His omniscience knew that we would sin and bring sin and death into the world and He created us anyway, how can we who are not omniscient ever think that we are smart enough to limit or reduce His creation – especially since it is a creation that His dearly beloved Son took into Himself and redeemed? *

This is the argument that must be repeated again and again to the Manicheans inside and outside of the Church until this heresy is put down.

A History of Medieval Europe From Constantine to St. Louis R.H.C Davis. Longman, London and New York. Originally Published 1957. Second Edition 1988
* Reworking of a quotation from Fr. John Ricardo. Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church. Plymouth, MI


Contraception now one of the "Seven Deadly Sins"

WARNING: Poor journalism follows...

Vatican Adds Seven New Deadly Sins Including Abortion, Contraception and Drug-Dealing

After 1,500 years the Vatican has brought the seven deadly sins up to date by adding seven new ones for the age of globalization. The list, published yesterday in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, came as the Pope deplored the “decreasing sense of sin” in today’s “secularized world” and the falling numbers of Roman Catholics going to confession.

The Catholic Church divides sins into venial, or less serious, sins and mortal sins, which threaten the soul with eternal damnation unless absolved before death through confession and penitence.

It holds mortal sins to be “grave violations of the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes,” including murder, contraception, abortion, perjury, adultery and lust.

UPDATE: Get Religion has provided a fog cutter post on this sensationalist story.

But all kidding aside, I wonder if the Vatican would even include NFP, when used for a reason not approved by the papacy. Many, even Roman Catholics themselves, don't realize that they are not even supposed to use NFP except in extreme circumstances.

I have made the argument here on L&C that from a Lutheran perspective, NFP is potentially a more dangerous sin than some other "spur of the moment" contraceptive methods. NFP requires one to be very active in the process every day of the month. There's a difference between stumbling into sins we struggle with (even if we stumble into the same sin often) and the kind of sin that is "lived in" - i.e. the sinful activity that you constantly accept and are active in. NFP is not something you can just "stumble" into. It takes a great deal of premeditative effort and active discipline.

But of everything I read in this story, this statement from the Pope really caught my attention:

Those who trust in themselves and in their own merits are, as it were, blinded by their own "I", and their hearts harden in sin. Those who recognize themselves as weak and sinful entrust themselves to God, and from Him obtain grace and forgiveness.

WOW! The undiscerning might actually hear the pure Gospel in that statement. But this story left out the rest of what the Pope said. Here is the context. It doesn't sound quite as Lutheran once you understand what else is involved. As Lutherans, we are blessed to know that it isn't "confession" that brings us the joy of God's forgiveness, but rather the unconditional absolution which follows it! The Pope speaks out of both sides of his mouth when he continues what he said above with this:

"...What is most important is to make it clear that in the Sacrament of Penance - whatever the sin committed - if sinners recognize it humbly and entrust themselves to the priest confessor, they will always experience the soothing joy of God's forgiveness"

Penance (specifically, that part called "satisfactions") is one of the serious abuses of the Roman Catholic Church. In a RC sacramental understanding of the term, "penance" applies to the whole activity from confession to absolution, much of which we do not differ on in practice. Generally speaking, however, the word "penance" is used to characterize the works of satisfaction imposed or recommended by the priest on or to the penitent. It ultimately directs one to make his own satisfactions for his sins rather than trusting in Christ's perfect and complete atonement. For more on the disagreement regarding this matter between Lutherans and Roman Catholics, read here.

Be Fruitful and Multiply: Command or Blessing?

The title of this post presents a false dichotomy. I'm not arguing that "be fruitful" is not also a blessing. God always blesses us with the means to achieve what he asks. His Word itself often directly provides the means. But the argument is often made that "be fruitful" is ONLY a blessing, and not a command. This is the false dichotomy that I will here expose.

It should first be noted that the grammatical construct in the Hebrew of "be fruitful" is that of a plural, masculine imperative (i.e command) - not a second person indicative (merely blessing). That basically kills the argument that this is meant merely as a blessing. Their argument seems odd anyway, since I've never heard the same people argue that "subdue the earth and rule over it" was ONLY a blessing. Yet these commands were given in the same breath.

So, what is the nature of this divine imperative statement? Is the command still valid today?

An interesting take on the passage is given in the Formula SD VII:75-76, citing Chrysostom, showing that it is the Word of God that is effective in the Sacrament.

For where His institution is observed and His words are spoken over the bread and cup [wine], and the consecrated bread and cup [wine] are distributed, Christ Himself, through the spoken words, is still efficacious by virtue of the first institution, through His word, which He wishes to be there repeated. 76] As Chrysostom says (in Serm. de Pass.) in his Sermon concerning the Passion:
Christ Himself prepared this table and blesses it; for no man makes the bread and wine set before us the body and blood of Christ, but Christ Himself who was crucified for us. The words are spoken by the mouth of the priest, but by God's power and grace, by the word, where He speaks: "This is My body," the elements presented are consecrated in the Supper. And just as the declaration, Gen. 1, 28: "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth," was spoken only once, but is ever efficacious in nature, so that it is fruitful and multiplies, so also this declaration ["This is My body; this is My blood"] was spoken once, but even to this day and to His advent it is efficacious, and works so that in the Supper of the Church His true body and blood are present.

Here God's imperative statement is seen as more than a command - not less than one. In other words, it is the power behind the command which is fulfilled as well when God speaks.

Consider this from the Roman Confutation pt. II, art. II, with regard to the marriage of priests:

At that time a command concerning the procreation of offspring was given to fill the earth, but now that that has been filled so that there is population pressure, the command no longer pertains to those able to be continent.

To this the response in the Apology [XXIII.8] is:

Our opponents trivialize these arguments. They say that in the beginning there was a command to fill the earth, but now that the earth has been filled marriage is not commanded. Look at their clever argument! The Word of God formed human nature in such a way that it may be fruitful not only at the beginning of creation but as long as this physical nature of ours exists. Likewise, the earth became fruitful by this Word [Gen. 1:11]: ‘Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants tielding seed.’ Because of this ordinance, the earth commenced to produce plants, not only in the beginning, but yearly the fields are clothed as long as this natural order exists. Therefore, just as the nature of the earth cannot be changed by human laws, so neither can human nature be changed by vows or by human law without a special act of God.

And here are the words of Luther on this verse of Scripture, from which I believe Melanchthon likely fashioned his wording in the Apology.

For this word which God speaks, 'Be fruitful and multiply,' is not a command. It is more than a command, namely, a divine ordinance which it is not our prerogative to hinder or ignore. Rather, it is just as necessary as the fact that I am a man , and more necessary than sleeping and waking, eating and drinking, and emptying the bowels and bladder. It is a nature and disposition just as innate as the organs involved in it. Therefore, just as God does not command anyone to be a man or a woman but created them the way they have to be, so he does not command them to multiply but creates them so that they have to multiply. And wherever men try to resist this, it remains irresistible nonetheless and goes its way through fornication, adultery, and secret sins, for this is a matter of nature and not of choice.

In the third place, from this ordinance of creation God has himself exempted three categories of men, saying in Matthew 19:12, 'There are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.' Apart from these three groups, let no man presume to be without a spouse. And whoever does not fall within one of these three categories should not consider anything except the estate of marriage. Otherwise it simply impossible for you to remain righteous. For the Word of God which created you and said, 'Be fruitful and multiply,' abides and rules within you; you can by no means ignore it, or you will be bound to commit heinous sins without end.

[Luther's works, vol. 45, The Christian in Society II, The Estate of Marriage, pp. 15-18]

"Be fruitful and multiply" is both command and blessing - more than a command - and still applies to man "
as long as this physical nature of ours exists.".


Postfertilization Effects of "The Pill"

After several recent discussions (in person and online) with others about the abortifacient potential of hormonal contraception, I am convinced that misinformation unfortunately still abounds on this issue. Many people are of the mistaken opinion that the technology of hormonal birth control has been perfected to the degree that NO abortifacient potential exists when certain modern hormonal preparations are taken faithfully.

This belief is simply FALSE. It is not consistent with the research, leading to the
unrecognized loss (death!) of babies. These hormones do not always prevent ovulation, but do always thin the endometrium of the uterus to some degree, making implantation of the fertilized egg more difficult, and therefore causing an unknown percentage of spontaneous abortions before the mother even knows she is pregnant.

I refer you to one of the most comprehensive and well documented studies I am aware of:
Postfertilization Effects of Oral Contraceptives and Their Relationship to Informed Consent. And here is a personal note by the author of that study:

I have prescribed “the Pill” since 1978. My wife and I used the Pill for years, having no moral concerns about it. Then, in 1995 my friend and practice partner John Hartman, MD, showed me a patient information brochure — given to him by a friend — that claimed the Pill had a postfertilization effect causing “ . . . the unrecognized loss of preborn children.” John asked me if I had ever heard of such a thing. I had not. I did read the brochure and its claims seemed to be outlandish, excessive, and inaccurate. So, I decided to begin a literature search to disprove these claims to my partner, myself, and any patients who might ask about it. The more research I did, the more concerned I became about my findings. I called researchers around the country and interviewed them. During this process I met Joe Stanford, MD. Joe volunteered to assist in the research that ultimately became this systematic review. We were concerned enough about our findings and about the fact that so many of our colleagues and patients seemed to share our ignorance about this potential effect that we presented the preliminary results of our research at a number of research forums, just to see if we were off base. Most of the reviewers suggested that, although this evidence was new to them (as it was to us), it seemed accurate and not off target. Furthermore, several said that they thought it would change the way family physicians informed their patients about the Pill and its potential effects.

The most difficult part of this research was deciding how to apply it to my practice. I discussed it with my partners, my patients, ethicists I know and respect, and pastors in my community. I studied the ethical principle of double effect and discussed the issue with religious physicians of several faiths. Finally, after many months of debate and prayer, I decided in 1998 to no longer prescribe the Pill. As a family physician, my career has been committed to family care from conception to death. Since the evidence indicated to me that the Pill could have a postfertilization effect, I felt I could no longer, in good conscience, prescribe it — especially since viable alternatives are available. The support and encouragement that my partners, staff, and patients have given me has been unexpectedly affirming. It seems that my patients have appreciated the information I have given them. Many have been surprised or even shocked (as I was) to learn about this potential effect. Many of my patients have chosen to continue taking the Pill, and we have physicians in our practice and community who will prescribe it for them. Patients who take the Pill tell me that they are much more careful with their compliance. Others have chosen other birth control options — especially one of the modern methods of natural family planning. So, this is research that has changed my soul and my practice. It has been an extraordinarily difficult issue with which I have had to wrestle. I suspect it will be so for many who thoughtfully read and consider the evidence contained in this review.

Walter L. Larimore, MD

Kissimmee, Fla