Pope: Health Justice Should Be a State Priority

Calls for Protection of Life

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 18, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is calling for justice in health care, highlighting it as a priority of governments and international institutions.



The Pope stated this in a message sent to Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, for an international conference that began today in Rome.

This two-day academic event will focus on the topic "For Equitable and Human Health Care in the Light of the Encyclical 'Caritas in Veritate.'"
 
This morning, the Pontiff's message was read to the participants by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Holy Father's secretary of state.

Benedict XVI affirmed that "the people of God, pilgrimaging on the torturous paths of history joins their efforts to those of so many other men and women of good will to give a truly human face to health systems."

"Health justice should be among the priorities of governments and international institutions," he said.

"Important also in the field of health, integral part of each one's existence and of the common good, is to establish a true distributive justice that guarantees to all, on the basis of objective needs, adequate care," the Pope affirmed.

He continued, "Consequently, the world of health cannot be subtracted from the moral rules that should govern it so that it will not become inhuman."

Wounds

"Unfortunately," the Pontiff said, "next to positive and encouraging results, there are opinions and lines of thought that wound it."

He explained, "I am referring to questions such as those connected with so-called reproductive health, with recourse to artificial techniques of procreation entailing the destruction of embryos, or with legalized euthanasia."

The Holy Father stated that "love of justice, the protection of life from conception to its natural end, respect for the dignity of every human being, are to be upheld and witnessed, even against the current."

"The fundamental ethical values are the common patrimony of universal morality and the basis of democratic coexistence," he added.

"What is necessary is the joint effort of all," Benedict XVI affirmed, "but also necessary and above all is a profound conversion of the interior look."

He stated, "Only if one looks at the world with the look of the Creator, which is a look of love, humanity will learn to be on earth in peace and justice, allocating with equity the earth and its resources to the good of every man and every woman."

"It is necessary to work with greater commitment at all levels," the Pope said, "so that the right to health is rendered effective, favoring access to primary health care."

He concluded, "To suffering brothers and sisters I express my closeness and also the appeal to live illness as an occasion of grace to grow spiritually and participate in the sufferings of Christ for the good of the world, and to all of you, committed in the vast field of health, I give my encouragement for your precious service."

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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-31001?l=english