The Pope told a recent gathering that health care cannot “divorce itself from moral rules.” As an example he cited how the concept of “reproductive health” does more to work against the care of human life than for it.
The Pope's remarks on health care were sent to Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski – president of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care – on the event of the council's 25th international conference. The group's theme this year focused on the Holy Father's latest encyclical and was titled, "Towards egalitarian and human health care in the light of 'Caritas in veritate.'”
Archbishop Zimowski explained that members from over 60 countries gathered in Rome on Nov. 18 to address some of the major threats to the health of individuals around the globe.
Pope Benedict began his message to the archbishop by underlining the need for what he called “true distributive justice” that guarantees health care for everyone, based on “objective need.”
The Pontiff also stressed the need to work with greater commitment “at all levels in order for the right to health care to be effective, facilitating access to primary medical assistance.”
He continued to say, however, that “the world of health care cannot divorce itself from moral rules, which must govern it in order to ensure it does not become inhuman.”
“Unfortunately, along with positive and encouraging results, opinions and schools of thought exist which harm this justice,” he wrote. “I am thinking of questions such as those associated with so-called 'reproductive health,' the use of artificial procreation techniques that involve the destruction of embryos, and legalized euthanasia.”
Pope Benedict said that the defense of life from conception until natural death “must be supported and proclaimed, even if this means going against the tide.”
“For this reason,” he added, “I would advocate the adoption of a model of development based on the centrality of the human person, on the promotion and sharing of the common good, on responsibility, on a realization of our need for a changed lifestyle, and on prudence, the virtue which tells us what needs to be done today in view of what might happen tomorrow.”
“Only by looking at the world with the gaze of the Creator, which is a gaze of love, will humanity learn to live on earth in peace and justice, equitably sharing the planet and its resources for the good of each man and woman,” he said.