VATICAN CITY, FEB. 7, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry honored Father Peter Scott, advisor for health care chaplaincy to Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster.
The Good Samaritan medal was presented to the priest Wednesday at the end of a meeting in the Vatican dicastery, a press release from the Westminster Diocese announced today.
Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the pontifical council, presented the medal to Father Scott and to Jim McManus, director of public health for Birmingham, England.
The medal of the Good Samaritan is given by the pontifical council to those who stand out for their care and love for the sick.
Father Scott said that this award was “a welcome surprise and a great honor.”
“The Catholic Church has been pioneering in advocating the importance of health care chaplaincy to the [National Health Service (NHS)],” he affirmed. “I feel honored to be part of that mission and to work with many remarkable people.”
The priest continued: “Health care chaplains are a unique discipline within hospitals. They are ‘on call’ 24/7 and serve not only patients but relatives and staff.
“In the midst of trauma and despair, you will find a chaplain consoling and soothing the sufferer with the words of Christ.”
Father Scott, a member of the Church’s national health care advisory group, has worked in this area for several years, producing publications and leading the creation of a degree for hospital chaplaincy in St. Mary’s University College, Twickenham.
McManus, also a member of the Catholic health care advisory group, has worked to produce resources and to represent the Church before the government regarding these issues.