2013-09-20 Vatican Radio
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday received members of the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations who are in Rome on the occasion of their 10th International Conference on Catholicism and Maternal Healthcare. Lydia O’Kane reports
Following a greeting to conference participants, Pope Francis went on to address those gathered in three succinct points.
Firstly, he described what he called the paradoxical situation facing the medical profession today. On the one hand, the Pope said we see the progress of medicine, and those dedicated to the search for new cures.
But, on the other hand, he noted, there is the danger that a doctor might lose his identity as a servant of life. Pope Francis explained, that “if you lose the personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of a new life, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away.” He continued by saying that the acceptance of life strengthens moral fiber, before adding that the final objective of the doctor is always the defense and promotion of life.
In his second point, the Holy Father underlined that "the first right of the human person is his life”. He spoke of a “culture of waste”, which he said, now enslaves the hearts and minds of many. The cost of this, he continued, is the elimination of human beings, especially if they are physically or socially weaker. The Pope stressed that every child that is not born, but unjustly condemned to be aborted and very elderly person who is sick or at the end of his life bears the face of Christ.
The Pope also underlined the important role Gynecologists have which requires study, a conscience and humanity.
In his third and final point the Holy Father said the mandate of Catholic doctors is “to be witnesses and promoters of the "culture of life". The Lord, he said is counting on you to spread the "Gospel of life."
Pope Francis concluded his remarks by saying, “there is no human life more sacred than another, as there is no human life more significant than another. The credibility of a health care system is measured not only for its efficiency, but also for the attention and love towards people, whose life is always sacred.