Dioceses Asked to Help AIDS Sufferers

ROME, DEC. 15, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The Good Samaritan Foundation, part of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, is asking all dioceses to increase aid for those ill with AIDS.

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The foundation, instituted by Pope John Paul II in September 2004 and confirmed by Benedict XVI, aims to help out financially the sick who are most in need, particularly victims of HIV/AIDS, the president of the pontifical council, Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán, recently recalled.

The cardinal said the foundation has already «sent to the local Churches in America, Asia, Africa and Europe important financial help to buy medicines.»

Vatican Radio presented a report Wednesday on the first year of activity of the foundation. The group has distributed some $200,000 in aid.

Cardinal Lozano Barragán told the papal radio station of a new initiative to fund raise, and during Christmas, to create awareness in the Church communities of the objectives of the Good Samaritan Foundation.

The slogan of the campaign is «€5 and Light a Christmas Star.»

«Five euros can be converted into an antiviral pill,» the cardinal explained. «This antiviral pill corresponds to the Christmas star.»

More information is available via: goodsamaritan@hlthwork.va.

More than a quarter of the HIV/AIDS treatment centers in the world are Catholic.

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