Pope Francis has issued a legal decree, creating a new special healthcare commission, which will help health care organizations belonging to the Church and to Church organizations to manage their finances and stay true to their founding mission and spirit.
On Friday, the Vatican released this news that the Holy Father, with his ‘rescript,’ the decree, is establishing the Pontifical Commission for the Activities of Public Juridical Persons of the Church in the Healthcare Sector. The commission will be composed of a president and six experts in the fields of healthcare, real estate, management, business administration, and finance.
The commission shall have the authority to carry out general studies to ascertain the sustainability of the healthcare systems of the juridical persons of the Church, and to prepare long-range operational sustainability strategies in keeping with the Social Doctrine of the Church.
Below is the full text of the document in which Pope Francis provides for the new healthcare commission.
“The Holy Father Francis, in the audience granted to the undersigned Secretary of State on 7 December 2015, having obtained the necessary information relating to the particular difficulties of public legal persons of the Church working in the healthcare sector, for the purpose of contributing to the more efficient management of these activities and the conservation of assets maintaining and promoting the charism of the Founders, and until other provisions are made, has mandated the Secretary of State to appoint a Special Commission for the purpose, entitled ‘Pontifical Commission for the Activities of Public Juridical Persons of the Church in the Healthcare Sector’.
Therefore, the Cardinal Secretary of State shall provide for the erection of the ‘Pontifical Commission for the Activities of Public Juridical Persons of the Church in the Healthcare Sector’, which will be governed by the following rules.
1. The principles and rules established in the Apostolic Constitution ‘Pastor bonus’ and in the General Regulations of the Roman Curia shall be applied to the Commission, insofar as they are applicable and not incompatible. The Commission shall adopt its own regulations.
2. The Commission shall be composed of a President and six experts in the fields of healthcare, real estate, management, economic and administrative issues, and finance. The Commission shall be able to delegate part of its functions to one or more Members and shall be assisted by a Secretariat.
3. With regard to the appointment and term of office of the members and experts of the Commission, the regulations governing the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia shall be applied:
a. the general study of the sustainability of the healthcare system by public legal persons of the Church (prerequisites, characteristics, constraints, working/management methods, current objectives of the healthcare system of individual legal persons in keeping with their nature, mission and charism) so as to define a possible long-term operative strategy also in relation to the principles of the Social Doctrine of the Church;
b. the proposal for the resolution of crisis situations in accordance with the results of the more general study, activating all the resources possible in collaboration with the Heads of the public legal entities concerned;
c. the study and proposal of new operative models for public legal persons working in the healthcare sector, capable of implementing the founding charism in the current context.
The provisions herein are to be considered stable and valid from the moment of their publication in ‘L’Osservatore Romano’. Vatican City, 12 December 2015.”