Katholieke Stichting Medische Ethiek
9 december 2023

Gezondheidszorg toegankelijk voor iedereen

11 juli 2021
Pope Francis

Dear Brothers and Sisters,


I am glad to be able to keep the Sunday Angelus appointment, even here from “Gemelli” Polyclinic. I thank you all: I have felt your closeness and the support of your prayers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

The Gospel passage we read today in the Liturgy recounts that Jesus’ disciples, sent by him, “anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them” (Mk 6:13). This “oil” also makes us think of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, which gives comfort to spirit and body. But this “oil” is also listening, the closeness, the care, the tenderness of those who take care of the sick person: it is like a caress that makes you feel better, soothes your pain and cheers you up. All of us, all, need this “anointing” of closeness and tenderness sooner or later, and we can all give it to someone else, with a visit, a phone call, a hand outstretched to someone who needs help. Let us remember that, in the protocol of the final judgment — Matthew 25 — one of the things they will ask us will be about closeness to the sick.

In these days of hospitalization, I experienced once again how important is good healthcare that is accessible to all, as there is in Italy and in other countries. Free healthcare, that assures good service, accessible to everyone. This precious benefit must not be lost. It needs to be kept! And for this everyone needs to be committed, because it helps everyone and requires everyone’s contribution. In the Church too it happens that at times some healthcare institution, due to poor management, does not do well economically, and the first thought that comes to mind is to sell it. But vocation in the Church, is not to have money; it is to offer service, and service is always freely given. Do not forget this: saving free institutions.

I would like to express my appreciation and my encouragement to the doctors and all the healthcare workers and staff of this and of other hospitals. They work so hard! And let us pray for all the sick. Here there are some friends, sick children…. Why do children suffer? Why children suffer is a question that touches the heart. Accompany them with prayer and pray for all those who are sick, especially for those in the most difficult conditions: may no one be left alone, may everyone receive the anointing of listening, closeness, tenderness and care. Let us ask this through the intercession of Mary, our Mother, Health of the Sick.

After the Angelus the Holy Father continued:

Dear brothers and sisters, in recent days my prayer has often been aimed at Haiti, following the assassination of its President and the wounding of his wife. I join in the heartfelt appeal of the country’s Bishops to “lay down weapons, choose life, choose to live together fraternally in the interest of all and in the interest of Haiti”. I am close to the beloved Haitian people; I hope that the spiral of violence will cease and the nation can resume the journey toward a future of peace and harmony.

Today is “Sea Sunday”, dedicated in a particular way to seafarers and to those whose source of work and sustenance is the sea. I pray for them and exhort everyone to take care of the oceans and seas. Take care of the health of the seas: no plastic in the sea!

I remember and bless those who are participating in Radio Maria Family’s pilgrimage to the Shrine of Częstochowa, today in Poland.

Today we celebrate the Feast of Saint Benedict, Abbot and Patron of Europe. An embrace to our protector Saint! Let us offer our good wishes to the men and women Benedictines throughout the world. And best wishes to Europe, that it be united in its founding values.

And happy Sunday to everyone! Do not forget to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch! Arrivederci!

Paus Franciscus tegen ziekenhuispersoneel: ‘Jullie laten het moederlijke gezicht van God zien’

Katholiek Nieuwsblad, 21 november 2019
door Sanne Gerrits

Paus Franciscus sprak vandaag medisch personeel toe in het katholieke Sint-Louisziekenhuis in Bangkok, dat werkt onder het motto: ‘Waar liefde is, daar is God’.

700 Dokters, verpleegkundigen en dienstpersoneel van verschillende zorginstellingen verzamelden zich daar om naar te paus te luisteren. Hieronder enkele uitspraken en foto’s die herinneren aan dit bezoek.

“Het genezingsproces zou moeten worden gezien als een krachtige zalving die de menselijke waardigheid herstelt in iedere situatie. Een blik die waardigheid vergroot en ondersteuning biedt.”

“Jullie werk is het verwelkomen en omarmen van menselijk leven zoals het komt in de spoedafdeling, dat met medelijden, voortgekomen uit liefde en respect voor de waardigheid van iedere mens, behandeld moet worden.”

“Jullie laten ons het moederlijke gezicht van God zien die neerbuigt om zijn kinderen te zalven en op te richten.”

“Dit is niet enkel een zaak van procedures en programma’s, maar heeft te maken met een bereidheid om te omarmen wat iedere nieuwe dag ons brengt.”

Paus Franciscus bezocht zonder publiek 40 zieken en gehandicapten in de hal van het ziekenhuis.

“Ziekte kan er toe leiden dat mensen zich serieuze vragen gaan stellen over leven, dood en lijden. Maar door ons te verenigen met Jezus en zijn lijden, ontdekken we de kracht van zijn nabijheid bij onze breekbaarheid en onze wonden.”

Overgenomen met toestemming van Katholiek Nieuwsblad.

Tot ziekenhuispersoneel: ‘Jullie laten het moederlijke gezicht van God zien’

Meeting with the medical staff of St. Louis Hospital

Pope Francis
Bangkok, 21 November 2019

Dear Friends,

I am happy to have this opportunity to meet you, the medical, nursing and support staff of St. Louis Hospital and other Catholic hospitals and charitable agencies. I thank the Director for his kind words of introduction. It is a blessing for me to witness at first hand this valuable service that the Church offers to the Thai people, especially to those most in need. With affection, I greet the Sisters of Saint Paul of Chartres and all the other women religious present today, and I thank them for their quiet and joyful dedication to this apostolate over these many years. You enable us to contemplate the maternal face of God who bends down to anoint and raise up his children: thank you.

I was pleased to hear the Director speak of the principle by which this Hospital operates: Ubi caritas, Deus ibi est – where love is, there God is. It is precisely in the exercise of charity that we Christians are called not only to demonstrate that we are missionary disciples, but also to take stock of our own fidelity, and that of our institutions, to the demands of that discipleship. “Truly, I say to you”, says the Lord, “all that you have done to one of these my little brothers, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40). You are missionary disciples in the field of health care, for you open your hearts to “a mystical fraternity, a contemplative fraternity, capable of seeing the sacred grandeur of our neighbour, of finding God in every human being, of tolerating the nuisances of life in common by clinging to the love of God, of opening the heart to divine love and seeking the happiness of others, just as their heavenly Father does”(Evangelii Gaudium, 92).

Seen in this way, you carry out one of the greatest works of mercy, for your commitment to health care goes far beyond the simple and praiseworthy practice of medicine. This is not only a matter of procedures and programs; rather, it has to do with our readiness to embrace whatever each new day sets before us. It is about welcoming and embracing human life as it arrives at the Hospital’s emergency room, needing to be treated with the merciful care born of love and respect for the dignity of each human person. The healing process should rightly be seen as a powerful anointing capable of restoring human dignity in every situation, a gaze that grants dignity and provides support.

All of you, as members of this hospital community, are missionary disciples whenever you look at your patients and you learn to call them by name. I know that at times your service can prove burdensome and tiring; you work under extreme circumstances, and for this reason you need to be accompanied and supported in your work. This speaks to us of the need for a health care ministry in which not only patients but every member of this community can feel cared for and supported in his or her mission. Please know that your efforts and the work of the many institutions that you represent are a living testimony of the care and concern that all of us are called to show to everyone, especially the elderly, the young and those most vulnerable.

This year St. Louis Hospital celebrates the 120th anniversary of its foundation. How many people have received relief from their pain, comfort in their sorrow and companionship in their loneliness! As I give thanks to God for the gift of your presence over these years, I ask you to ensure that this and similar apostolates may increasingly become a sign and emblem of a Church on the move, which, in carrying out her mission, finds the courage to bring Christ’s healing love to all those who suffer.

At the end of this meeting, I will be visiting the sick and the disabled, as a way of accompanying them, however briefly, in their pain.

Each of us knows how illness brings with it questions that dig deep. Our first reaction may be to rebel and even experience moments of bewilderment and desolation. We cry out in pain, and rightly so: Jesus himself shared in that suffering and made it his own. With prayer, we too want to join in his own cry of pain.

By uniting ourselves to Jesus in his passion, we discover the power of his closeness to our frailty and our wounds. We are invited to cling to him and to his sacrifice. If at times we feel deeply “the bread of adversity and the water of affliction”, let us also pray that we can find, in an outstretched hand, the help needed to discover the comfort that comes from “the Lord who does not hide himself” (cf. Is 30:20), but remains ever close to us and accompanies us at every moment.

Let us place this meeting and our lives under the protective mantle of Mary. May she turn her eyes of mercy toward you, especially at times of pain, illness and vulnerability. May she obtain for you the grace of encountering her Son in the wounded flesh of all those whom you serve.

I bless all of you and your families. And I ask you, please, not to forget to pray for me.

Thank you!