THIRD INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF CATHOLIC HEALTH CARE
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF CATHOLIC HEALTH CARE INSTITUTIONS
3-5 May 2007
In response to the recommendation of the interim board of the International Federation of Catholic Health care Institutions the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care invited us to constitute the Third International Congress of Catholic Health Care. We are over one hundred in number and come from over forty countries and all the continents of the earth.
We serve in diverse dimensions of the ministry of Catholic health care and in a variety of settings. Like Servant of God John Paul II we recognize the Catholic health care is an essential ministry of the Church. A ministry that has been called by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to an aggiornamento, that is, to a new impetus that â€œimplies renewal and deepening of the pastoral proposal itselfâ€.
After two days of input and discussion we have developed the following recommendations to ourselves and to our colleagues in the ministry about how we can promote this Aggiornamento of the ministry under the title of advancing our stewardship of the ministry.
Catholic health care entities should articulate the essential characteristics of the ministry and measurable outcomes for the same in a manner that they can be actualized in the organizationâ€™s strategic planning process.
In order that all who serve in Catholic health care can be nourished and guided by a
fulsome understanding of the ministry, an integrated approach to the professional and ministerial development of all those who serve in the ministry should be developed in a manner appropriate to their mode of service. This should be reinforced by on-going formation and continuous evaluation.
The ministry should deepen its understanding of and commitment to collaboration within the ministry and with other ecclesial ministries. There also should be collaboration, as appropriate, with secular entities in a manner that does not compromise Catholic identity. To advance this collaboration there should be dissemination of effective models of collaboration.
The ministry should be known for its special commitment to providing health care to the poor, marginalized and vulnerable in a manner that truly advances their human dignity and does not encourage dependency. This commitment should be expressed in a strategic and transparent manner that is facilitated by efficient and effective models of care and that encourages cross-country sharing.
Catholic health care should be known for its advocacy for access to health care being a fundamental human right. This advocacy should begin with the manner in which at the local level the ministry provides for the health care needs of the community they serve and by the vision of person and society that animates this service. Such advocacy should be based on accurate social analysis and be made effective by the appropriate training and education of those who would carry it forward.
As we have engaged in conversation and ref lection about these imperatives we have considered how to advance collaboration with diocesan bishops and Episcopal conferences
as well as appropriate national and international collaboration. As regards our collaboration as a ministry of the universal church we recognize the important contribution AISAC can make to encouraging, facilitating and empowering such collaboration and sharing.
Consequently, we actively support the animation of AISAC as an international federation, with ecclesial and civil status appropriate to its role. This renewed reality should be constituted after appropriate consultation with the ministry, with the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care and other appropriate dicasteries.
As we conclude our time together we express our gratitude to the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care and in special way to its President, His Eminence, Cardinal Lozano B. We also extend our prayerful best wishes to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI and ask for his blessing of our dedication to carrying forward the healing mission of Jesus.