John Paul II's Vision to Guide Health Care Council Meeting

Archbishop: Polish Pontiff’s Teaching Calls All to Love Life

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 22, 2011 ( Blessed John Paul II’s contribution to health care — both through his teaching in defense of life, and his personal testimony in suffering and death — will be at the heart of an international conference in Rome this week.

Today, the 26th international conferences sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry was presented.

The Thursday through Saturday event has the theme: «Health Pastoral Care, Serving Life in the Light of the Magisterium of Blessed John Paul II.»

Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the pontifical council, noted that the conference aims to ensure that «Blessed John Paul II’s teaching on the Gospel of Life, and the translation of that teaching into pastoral activity by the Church,» call everyone to «love and serve life, especially when it is weak and suffering.» 

He also expressed the hope that the conference would «celebrate the sacredness of life and the dignity of the person, which must be defended in all circumstances.»

The prelate noted how it was John Paul II who established the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, as well as the World Day of the Sick and the Good Samaritan Foundation.


On the first day a ceremony will be held in honor of John Paul II, with contributions from Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini and Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, retired president of the pontifical council for Health Care Ministry and former secretary to John Paul II, respectively.

The program also includes a concert titled «The Cross, Mercy and Glory» organized in honor of Benedict XVI and focusing on the figure of Blessed John Paul II. It is scheduled for Friday.

Father Augusto Chendi, under-secretary of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, announced that a new charter for health care workers is to be released soon.

The document «contains a summary of Church doctrine on matters regarding the primary and fundamental value of the life of each human being throughout its trajectory; that is, from conception until natural end.» 

The current charter dates from 1995; the revised version includes John Paul II’s subsequent magisterium and that of Benedict XVI, as well as ethical questions that have arisen with the progress of medicine and biology. 

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