This is a letter I wrote to the pope over six years ago. Less than three years later, on the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua, all the symptoms that facilitated me receiving the diagnoses of schizoaffective disorder went away. It was rather confusing and even disturbing, but in another three years, I began to understand why these symptoms developed in the first place and why they went away. (What happened to me should be the norm, but it's not in most "modern" societies.) Part of the journey in discovering this information involved flying to Toronto for the Psychosis 2.0 conference, which happened to be on June 13th, the third anniversary of all of my psychotic symptoms going away. (It also happened to be a Friday the 13th and a full moon.)That Friday the 13th in June was also the day I started working on a new book. It is sort of a rewrite of my book Bricks & Barbwire, but it is so vastly different that it's actually a new book unto itself. The book Bricks & Barbwire was quite problematic as I had accepted the biogenetic models of psychopathology, which a growing body of unbiased (i.e. not funded by the pharmaceutical industry) research is discrediting.
One of the things I plan to do in this book is explain how we are all schizophrenic according to the true etymology of that word. This is because our fallen intellect prevents us from fully accepting the true reality of the Divine and fall into the error of disbelief, some more than others. In fact there have only been four of us that haven't been schizophrenic, two became schizophrenic, One was divine, and the other was His Mother. (St. John the Baptist and St. Joseph were quite free of this condition, but even they were tainted by this fallen nature.)
June 29, 2008
Pope Benedict XVI
The Apostolic Palace,
00120 Vatican City, Europe
￼It is very fitting that I write this letter to you today on the great Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul. It is fitting because, although I can in no way compare myself to St. Paul, I am willing to correct Peter when he is wrong. I would never question you on an issue of faith and morals, but you have erred on an issue of psychiatry, of which I have a little knowledge because I have been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder.
It was in the following paragraph from your June 25, 2008 Wednesday General Audience that you erred:
However, the problem arises: Does not one end in this way in a sort of dualism? Is not one faced with affirming two complete personalities with reason, will, sentiment? How can this dualism be overcome? How can the completeness of the human being be preserved while protecting the unity of the person of Christ, who was not schizophrenic?
I believe that you did not mean to say that Christ did not have schizophrenia, but that He did not have dissociative identity disorder, also known as multiple personality disorder. Schizophrenia is often confused with dissociative identity disorder, and in some rare cases a person may have both disorders, but they are two very different disorders. A person with dissociative identity disorder will display multiple distinct identities or personalities, whereas a person with schizophrenia will have impairments in the perception or expression of reality.
Most schizophrenics do not experience any sort of dualism in their identity or personality. My illness and the anti-psychotic drugs to control it have affected my personality; however, like most schizophrenics, I have always had one identity or personality.
All of my psychotic symptoms have been under control for a number of years, although I do suffer from the side effects of the drugs that control these symptoms. I very willingly accept my suffering by uniting it with Christ’s suffering, and it has afforded me time to devote to Christ and His Church. I have written a book about my illness, Bricks & Barbwire, and have published much of my theological work on my website (http://grigaitis.net).
I very much appreciate your work and teaching, and I in no way want to admonish you. I just want to point out that by misusing the term schizophrenic, you may offend some people that desperately need to hear your message.
I remain your most humble servant,
Russell Grigaitis, S.F.O.
(We hadn't changed from "S.F.O" to "O.F.S" at the time I had written this letter.)
I never actually thought that the pope himself would receive this letter, but someone at the Vatican would read it. It also felt like the right thing to do.
Just to let you know, I put this book on hold at the end of August. I realized that some of the information in this book would be better represented in a slightly different format. Hence, I started writing a different book that would include this information, and some other additional information. I've decided that this other book is my priority right now as some of its most major topics seem to be the most pressing issues facing our world and the Church today, as is evident with the recent extraordinary Synod of Bishops focusing on the family.