Ecumenical Statement on Addictions
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John Fee – (906) 227-9129
Jamie Gualdoni – (906) 227-9134
news@dioceseofmarquette.org
 
The leaders of four Upper Peninsula faith communities have released an “Ecumenical Statement on Addictions” during Holy Week. The statement speaks of “destruction caused by addiction in our communities, parishes and families” and offers help and hope by “reaching out to all those in need.” They note that “(p)eople of faith are called to provide healing not only for the soul, but also the body of our neighbors in need” and are pledging to “work together to bring awareness, resources and healing for those suffering the effects of addictions and substance abuse.”
 
Bishop Rayford J. Ray of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan; Rev. Thomas Skrenes, Bishop of the Northern Great Lakes Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; The Rev. Elbert P. Dulworth, District Superintendent of the Marquette District of the United Methodist Church; and Most Rev. John Doerfler, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Marquette all signed the statement. It was released at a news conference on Wednesday morning, April 12, at the Marquette Hope United Methodist Church Connection Center.
 
The statement speaks to the widespread problem of addictions saying, “Substance abuse and addiction impacts all of us.  In spite of the best efforts to thwart illicit drugs or attempt to punish those who engage in their use, illegal drug abuse remains a deeply ingrained aspect of life in our Upper Peninsula community.  Substance abuse is intertwined with social problems that face our communities.”
 
It also points out, “Substance abuse disorders present the same clinical picture as other chronic, relapsing disorders similar to diabetes or multiple sclerosis.  Much like the results of medical treatments for diseases such as heart disease or cancer, treatment for substance abuse disorders is not universally effective; however, early detection and long term treatment can improve the rate of successful recovery.”
 
Even though recovery can be difficult and some may experience an “overwhelming sense of abandonment caused by their addiction,” the statement gives encouragement: “Addiction professionals and persons in recovery treatment know that hope can be found through the grace and strength of God.” The faith communities also offer to “serve as the outstretched hand to offer God’s love and new hope for those afflicted with this disease.”
 
The Christian leaders conclude their statement with: “People of faith are called to provide healing not only for the soul, but also the body of our neighbors in need. We, the leaders of the Episcopal, Lutheran, United Methodist and Catholic faith families in the Upper Peninsula pledge to work together to bring awareness, resources and healing for those suffering the effects of addictions and substance abuse. We call our communities to join us in this much needed effort.”
 
 
For a full copy of the ecumenical statement, click here: Ecumenical Statement on Addictions (link)
 
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