Religion: Quiet Healers

A faith healer, as loyal TV watchers know, is likely to be a hot-eyed spellbinder, his eye cocked to the collection plate and his theology about as solidly grounded as his gospel tent. But in Philadelphia a fortnight ago, the suffering who came forward to be healed—a retarded girl of about six, an old man with an ugly facial growth—received a blessing as dignified as the setting: 139-year-old St. Stephen's Episcopal Church. "This is no hocus-pocus," said St. Stephen's Rector Alfred Price from the pulpit. "This is a sacrament you are about to receive—the sacrament of healing."

Episcopalian Price has been holding...

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