Home - VIS Vatican - Receive VIS - Contact us - Calendar

The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

Last 5 news

VISnews in Twitter Go to YouTube

Monday, January 30, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JAN 28, 2006 (VIS) - "Lord, if You will, you can make me clean," is this year's theme for the 53rd World Day of Leprosy, which is celebrated on Sunday, January 29. For the occasion, Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, has prepared a message addressed to presidents of national episcopal conferences and to bishops in charge of pastoral health care ministry.

  The Church on this Day, writes the Cardinal, "wishes to listen to the very many people in the world who are still afflicted by Hansen's disease. ... [She] wants to give voice to their cry for help so that all of us together feel involved, with our various capacities and responsibilities, in the commitment to offer practical answers for the care and treatment of those suffering from leprosy."

  Cardinal Lozano goes on to recall how scientific and pharmacological progress now enable leprosy to be treated in its early stages, however there remain, he writes, "broad swathes of sick people and vast regions of the world that do not yet have these possibilities at the level of treatment."

  Quoting statistics of the World Health Organization, the president of the Pontifical Council enumerates the declared cases of leprosy in the world at the beginning of 2005: 47,596 in Africa, 36,877 in America, 186,182 in South East Asia, 5,398 in the Eastern Mediterranean, and 10,010 in the West Pacific. He also identifies a certain regression in the disease: "from 763,263 people suffering from leprosy in 2001, the figure fell to 407,791 in 2004." His message continues: "The just and shared satisfaction at the results that have been achieved in the fight against Hansen's disease should not mean less commitment or that the permanent needs, the endemic causes of the disease, the prejudices that still exist... should be forgotten. ... A decisive effort could be made to finally, and in every part of the world, eliminate the disease of leprosy."

  The prelate then invites national and international bodies, non-governmental organizations, and local Churches to coordinate their efforts "to respond in a more effective way to contemporary needs at the level of prevention and the treatment of people who are at risk or are already affected by leprosy." He also calls for more effective channels "for the free distribution of pharmaceuticals," and highlights "the need to create and train ... groups of social and health care workers who are able to act in the local areas, diagnosing in good time the presence of this disease and treating it."

  At the end of his message, Cardinal Lozano expresses gratitude for the efforts of Christian communities and missionaries "in the fight against the disease of leprosy and in providing loving care to people afflicted by it." He concludes by emphasizing how "the Church has always in so many countries of the world worked with total devotion to the welcoming ... and the social reintegration of those who have, or have had, leprosy. ... On January 29, in particular, we invite our communities to remember, during the Eucharistic celebration of the Total Body of Christ, the many people and families that still suffer because of the disease."
CON-AVA/LEPROSY DAY/LOZANO                    VIS 20060130 (540)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service