Vatican City, 12 December 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father, after receiving in audience Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin on 7 December, provided for the institution of the Pontifical Commission for the activities in the healthcare sector of public legal persons of the Church. The following is the full text of the document:
“The Holy Father Francis, in the audience granted to the undersigned Secretary of State on 7 December 2015, having obtained the necessary information relating to the particular difficulties of public legal persons of the Church working in the healthcare sector, for the purpose of contributing to the more efficient management of these activities and the conservation of assets maintaining and promoting the charism of the Founders, and until other provisions are made, has mandated the Secretary of State to appoint a Special Commission for the purpose, entitled 'Pontifical Commission for the Activities of Public Juridical Persons of the Church in the Healthcare Sector'.
Therefore, the Cardinal Secretary of State shall provide for the erection of the 'Pontifical Commission for the Activities of Public Juridical Persons of the Church in the Healthcare Sector', which will be governed by the following rules.
1. The principles and rules established in the Apostolic Constitution 'Pastor bonus' and in the General Regulations of the Roman Curia shall be applied to the Commission, insofar as they are applicable and not incompatible. The Commission shall adopt its own regulations.
2. The Commission shall be composed of a President and six experts in the fields of healthcare, real estate, management, economic and administrative issues, and finance. The Commission shall be able to delegate part of its functions to one or more Members and shall be assisted by a Secretariat.
3. With regard to the appointment and term of office of the members and experts of the Commission, the regulations governing the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia shall be applied.
4. The Commission, which shall report directly to the Secretary of State, may employ any legal action and financial means necessary for the valid and correct fulfillment of the task entrusted to it.
5. For this purpose the Commission shall grant to the Congregations of the Roman Curia to which the public legal persons concerned belong, the necessary permission, binding for the concession of canonical authorisations for the renouncement or reorganisation of assets and/or real estate related to the healthcare sector. The Commission shall have powers of access to documents and resources to permit it to carry out its activities. The Commission may assign tasks to companies, professionals and consultants.
6. The Commission is entrusted with:
a. the general study of the sustainability of the healthcare system by public legal persons of the Church (prerequisites, characteristics, constraints, working/management methods, current objectives of the healthcare system of individual legal persons in keeping with their nature, mission and charism) so as to define a possible long-term operative strategy also in relation to the principles of the Social Doctrine of the Church;
b. the proposal for the resolution of crisis situations in accordance with the results of the more general study, activating all the resources possible in collaboration with the Heads of the public legal entities concerned;
c. the study and proposal of new operative models for public legal persons working in the healthcare sector, capable of implementing the founding charism in the current context.
The provisions herein are to be considered stable and valid from the moment of their publication in 'L'Osservatore Romano'. Vatican City, 12 December 2015”.