in Pennsylvania's First Congressional District's_1st_congressional_district
and the Central Garden State

Friday, February 10, 2017

Address to Charity and Health Commission of Italian Episcopal Conference (Pope Francis, 2/10/16)

"....on the occasion of the 25 years of the World Day of the Sick and of the 20 years of the National Office for Health Pastoral Care....

"We thank the Lord for the progress made in this time, for what was done for the benefit of integral care of the sick, and for the generosity of so many men and women who accepted Jesus' invitation to visit Him in the person of the sick (cf. Matthew 25:36). They were years marked by strong social and cultural changes, and today we can see a situation with lights and shadows...We praise the Lord also for the many health workers that with knowledge and conscientiousness live their work as a mission, ministers of life and participants in the effusive love of God the Creator; every day their hands touch the suffering flesh of Christ, and this is a great honor and a grave responsibility....

"If there is a sector in which the disposable culture makes one see with evidence its painful consequences it is precisely that of health....In the health realm, the business model has been adopted indiscriminately; instead of optimizing the available resources it risks producing rejected humans. To optimize the resources means to use in an ethical and supportive way and not penalize the frailest...

"the first place, is the inviolable dignity of every human person from the moment of his conception until his last breath (Message for the 25th World Day of the Sick 2017, December 8, 2016)....

"Unfortunately, 'the worst discrimination of which the poor suffer – and the sick are poor in health – is the lack of spiritual attention. […] They need God and we cannot fail to offer them His friendship, His blessing, His Word, the celebration of the Sacraments and the proposal of a path of growth and maturation in the faith' (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, 200).

"Sick people are precious members of the Church. With the grace of God and the intercession of Mary, Health of the Sick, may they be able to become strong in weakness (cf. 2 Corinthians 12:10), 'and receive the grace to complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of His Body, that is, the Church (cf. Colossians 1:24); a body that, in the image of that of the Risen Lord, keeps the wounds, sign of the harsh fight, but they are wounds transfigured for ever by love' (Homily for the Jubilee of Sick and Disabled Persons, June 12, 2016). Thank you! [Original text: Italian]  [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]"

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