Loading
Health care includes spiritual needs, archbishop tells World Assembly
Participants at the opening of the plenary meeting of the World Health Assembly on May 19, 2009. Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
Participants at the opening of the plenary meeting of the World Health Assembly on May 19, 2009. Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The head of a Vatican delegation to the World Health Assembly on Wednesday called for universal health care coverage and an “integral” approach to health care that responds to a person’s spiritual needs.

Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, head of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, stressed the need for “integral development.” This approach, he said, does not focus only on health care or economic growth, but also attends to “the spiritual state of the person.”

“Health and development ought to be integral if they are to respond fully to the needs of every human person. What we hold important is the human person - each person, each group of people, and humanity as a whole,” he said May 22 to the 66th World Health Assembly.

The assembly is meeting from May 20-28 in Geneva. It is the decision-making body of the World Health Organization, the public health arm of the United Nations.

The archbishop said that health care contributes to the development of nations “and benefits from it.” He said that the Holy See “strongly believes” that universal health care coverage as a goal of government policy is a more certain way to achieve “the wide range of health concerns,” including preserving present advances.

Archbishop Zimowski then turned to efforts to save the lives of millions of people who die each year “from conditions that can easily be prevented.” He praised a resolution before the assembly to improve the quality, supply and use of 13 “life-saving commodities.”

“The Holy See strongly agrees with the need to achieve further reductions in the loss of life and prevention of illness through increased access to inexpensive interventions that are respectful of the life and dignity of all mothers and children at all stages of life, from conception to natural death,” he said.

However, he voiced “serious concerns” about the assembly’s secretariat report and its executive board-recommended resolution that includes “emergency contraception.” He said some of these drugs have an abortifacient effect.

“For my delegation, it is totally unacceptable to refer to a medical product that constitutes a direct attack on the life of the child in utero as a ‘life-saving commodity’ and, much worse, to encourage ‘increasing use of such substances in all parts of the world’,” he said.

The archbishop welcomed the assembly’s proposed global action plan to control non-communicable diseases. He said his delegation was “especially pleased” that the plan recognizes the “key role” of civil society institutions including faith-based organizations in encouraging the prevention and treatment of these diseases.

“Our delegation is aware that Catholic Church-inspired organizations and institutions throughout the world already have committed themselves to pursue such actions at global, regional, and local community levels,” he said.

Archbishop Zimowski also voiced interest in aspects of preventing and controlling diseases in older age, noting faith-based institutions’ long tradition of care for the aged and the rapid growth of the elderly population. He noted that the Vatican will host an international conference Nov. 21-23 about caring for the elderly with neurodegenerative diseases.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Jan
26

Liturgical Calendar

January 26, 2015

Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 3:22-30

Gospel
Date
01/26/15
01/25/15
01/24/15

Daily Readings


Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
01/26/15

Homily of the Day

Mk 3:22-30

Homily
Date
01/26/15
01/25/15
01/24/15