.- Mental health and human dignity will be the focus of the next international gathering for the World Day of the Sick, Feb. 9-11, held in Adelaide, Australia. The event will gather 30 Vatican dignitaries, and hundreds of bishops and health experts from around the world. Pope Benedict XVI is not expected to attend. The event is held on a different continent every five years.
Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide suggested the city after Papua New Guinea indicated it did not have the resources to host the event, reported Adelaide’s The Advertiser.
Head of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, was in Adelaide this week to announce the Pope's decision.
He revealed Pope Benedict had a deep personal interest in the plight of the mentally ill, after the Nazis killed a relative with mental illness, reported the newspaper.
The event includes a public conference and a mass at St. Francis Xavier's Cathedral, where the sick will be anointed with holy oil.