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Thursday, November 18, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 18 NOV 2010 (VIS) - Benedict XVI has written a Message to Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, and to participants in the council's twenty-fifth international conference which is currently being held on the theme: "Towards egalitarian and human healthcare in the light of 'Caritas in veritate'".

  In his Message the Pope highlights "the need to work with greater commitment at all levels in order for the right to healthcare to be effective, facilitating access to primary medical assistance. In our own time", he continues, "we are witnessing, on the one hand, a care for health which risks turning into pharmacological, medical and surgical consumerism, almost a cult of the body while, on the other hand, we see the difficulties millions of people face as they seek to obtain minimal subsistence and the medicines they need to cure themselves".

  After highlighting the importance of "establishing true distributive justice which guarantees everyone adequate care on the basis of objective needs", the Pope insists that "the world of healthcare cannot divorce itself from moral rules, which must govern it in order to ensure it does not become inhuman".

  "Justice is promoted when we welcome the life of others and take responsibility for them, answering their expectations because in them we see the face of the Son of God, Who became man for us. The divine image impressed in the features of our brothers and sisters is the basis of the exalted dignity of each individual and arouses in each of us the duty to respect, care and serve".

  The Holy Father writes that "healthcare justice must be one of the priorities on the agendas of governments and international institutions. Unfortunately, along with positive and encouraging results, opinions and schools of thought exist which harm this justice. I am thinking of questions such as those associated with so-called 'reproductive health', the use of artificial procreation techniques that involve the destruction of embryos, and legalised euthanasia. Love for justice, the defence of life from conception until natural end, must be supported and proclaimed, even if this means going against the tide. Fundamental ethical values are the shared heritage of universal morality and the basis for democratic coexistence", he says.

  "Only by looking at the world with the gaze of the Creator, which is a gaze of love, will humanity learn to live on earth in peace and justice, equitably sharing the planet and its resources for the good of each man and woman. For this reason", the Pope concludes, "I would advocate the adoption of a model of development based on the centrality of the human person, on the promotion and sharing of the common good, on responsibility, on a realisation of our need for a changed lifestyle, and on prudence, the virtue which tells us what needs to be done today in view of what might happen tomorrow".
MESS/                                    VIS 20101118 (490)


  1. I cannot believe someone would not see that this is one of the most important issues today. It is very indicative of the culture of death. Probably a major conduit of its evils. Since we have 'socialized' even the works of mercy souls are second by second in grave moral danger. Am I my brother's keeper resounds loud and clear. God bless our Pope.

  2. The statement leaves a lot unsaid. What is subsistence healthcare? Is everyone entitled to the best that modern technology has to offer? Is cost never to be considered? Are the "haves" required to pay for the unlimited healthcare needs of the "have-nots"? I rarely question the great intellect of the Holy Father, but I have serious reservations about the wisdom of this message.

  3. Christ indeed calls us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and heal the sick. However, Christ would want this accomplished through a charitible heart and not by extortion via legislative fiat.

    On tax day, April 15th every year here in the United States, I don't know of many people feeling very charitible while paying their taxes.

    God bless our Holy Father and keep him safe.

  4. The Holy Father can have his opinion, but health care a human "right"? In order for may mental health to be sound I need things I can not afford, like a BMW, nice boat, and at least one yearly vacation abroad.

  5. Amen. Having governments take from one and give to another is a poor substitute for charity and our responsibility to care for the sick.

  6. I believe that our Pope is speaking in generalities. After all, he doesn't have all of the expertise in this area. How many of us do? I think taht he's just saying that we as a civilized society should take care of the least of our brothers and sisters and build that civilization of Love that the previous Pope John Paul 2 eluded to.

  7. The four previous commentors would do well to re-read the last half of the 25th chapter of the gospel of Matthew. As a nurse practitioner, let me assure you that healthcare is the responsibility of every single person in society. When we stand before the Lord, Jay, I doubt very much if the argument that you were "extorted" to give to others instead of voluntarily giving is going to hold much water.
    The Holy Father is, as usual, totally correct that every person is entitled to care, especially the most vulnerable. I.e., the unborn, the mentally ill, the elderly. Open your hearts, for heaven's sake!

  8. Dear Nurse Practitioner...Please tell me that you work for no fee and take no pay for services rendered as a provider. I would be surprised if you responded in the affirmative.

    I'm sure that you demand that you be paid for your service that you provide. And guess what... you should as you earned it!

    If you care to help the poor, then God has indeed placed this upon your heart. You should then decide to pay from your own bank account to the charity of your choice. You control how much and when. It is between your charitable and God on what you give. It is NOT the job of government to feed, house and cloth every man. Doing so denies the dignity of working to all its citizens. The job of government is to provide an environment where all have an opportunity earn their living and succeed according to their ability and will.

    It is your job and mine as Catholics to support the Church with our tithes and fund our local charities to satisfy the needs of the poor. The more successful you become, the more able you are to be charitable.

    Government does a poor job of seeing after morally correct life issues, IE the unborn and mentally infirm. They cannot be trusted to do the right thing with our hard earned money.

    My heart is open, my dear.


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