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Current Issue
September, 2019
Volume 45, Number 3
  
1 October 2018
Greg Kandra




A sister cares for a young patient at Maison du Sacre Coeur, a Catholic institution that serves the needs of specially challenged children in Haifa. (photo: John E. Kozar)

In an address to the participants of the Seminar on Ethics in Health, Pope Francis stressed the importance of forming a bond of humanity between health care workers and their patients. The conference, from 1-5 October, is sponsored by the Pontifical Academy for Life and led by Auxiliary Bishop Alberto Bochatey of La Plata, Argentina, and the Health Consensus Foundation, an Argentina-based organization comprised of local and international health care providers, according to the conference website.

From Vatican Media:

Pope Francis based his speech around 3 key words: miracle, care and trust. These three words are very valuable in a world in which health in general “and particularly in Latin America, is living through an era marked by the economic crisis”, said the Pope.

With regards to the first word, “miracle,” the Pope said, “Those responsible for the institutions will tell me, and rightfully so, that we cannot perform miracles.” But, he explained, a miracle is not doing the impossible. A miracle is looking at an ill, helpless person and seeing a brother.

The Pope explained that, “we are called upon to recognize the immense value of every person’s dignity, as a human being, as a son of God.”

The second word: “care.” Because curing an ill person does not simply involve applying pharmaceuticals. “We know that when someone who is terminally ill is in serene, human company, they perceive this solidarity,” the pope said. “Even in these difficult cases, when the person can feel such love, respect and acceptance, the value of their being becomes their capability to give and receive love, not their productivity.”

The final word is “trust.” Pope Francis’ first example is “the trust the ill person has in themselves, that they will get better.” Of no less importance is the worker, who must be able to work in a serene atmosphere, in trusted surroundings. ”Placing yourself in the hands of someone else, especially when your life is at risk, is very difficult” said Pope Francis.

“We must fight to keep this deeply human bond whole” said Pope Francis. “No aid institution alone can take the place of a human heart, nor that of human compassion,” he said, quoting Pope Saint John Paul II.

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Tags: Health Care