Vatican City, May 28, 2018 / 10:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Ideologies which do not acknowledge and uphold the dignity of human life must be resisted and the Catholic Church’s teaching on life affirmed, Pope Francis told a group of Catholic doctors Monday.
“The Church is for life, and her concern is that nothing is against life in the reality of a concrete existence, however weak or defenseless, even if not developed or not advanced,” the pope said May 28 in the Vatican’s papal hall.
He noted the “hardships and difficulties” physicians may face when they are faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church, particularly when they promote and defend human life “from its conception to its natural end.”
“The tendency to debase the sick man as a machine to be repaired, without respect for moral principles, and to exploit the weakest by discarding what does not correspond to the ideology of efficiency and profit must be resisted.”
Pope Francis spoke with members of the International Federation of Associations of Catholic Physicians ahead of a congress on the theme of “Holiness of life and the medical profession, from Humanae vitae to Laudato si’” in Zagreb, Croatia May 30-June 2.
Addressing the group, he praised the fidelity of their associations to the directives of the Magisterium and encouraged them to “continue with serenity and determination on this path.”
To be a Catholic doctor means to feel driven by “faith and from communion with the Church” to grow in Christian and professional formation and to know the laws of nature in order “to better serve life,” he said, stressing that the participation of Catholic physicians in the life and mission of the Church is “so necessary.”
Francis noted that the health and medical fields are a part of the advance of the “technocratic cultural paradigm,” which adores human power without limits and makes everything irrelevant if it does not serve a person’s own interests.
“Be more and more aware that today it is necessary and urgent that the action of the Catholic physician presents itself with an unmistakable clarity on the level of personal and associative testimony,” he urged.
He also encouraged working together with professionals of other religious convictions who also recognize the dignity of the human person, and with priests and religious who work in the healthcare field.
Continue the journey “with joy and generosity,” he said, “in collaboration with all the people and institutions that share the love of life and endeavor to serve it in its dignity and sacredness.”
Pope asks doctors to intervene into debate about abortion, end of life and genetics
Pope Francis asked for a “more human” medicine before the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations. They met with the pope before traveling to Croatia. There they will have their next congress on “Sanctity Of Life and the Medical Profession from ‘Humanae Vitae’ to ‘Laudato si’.”
“Not even the fields of medicine and health, in fact, have been spared from the advancement of the technocratic cultural paradigm, from the adoration of limitless human power and from a practical relativism, where everything becomes irrelevant if it does not serve one’s own interests.”
Pope Francis asked for doctors not to forget that a patient is a human being. He told them not to get carried away by trends that only look at the expense of care, rather than healing people and defending life.
“We must go against the tendency that degrades sick person to a machine that needs to be repaired, without respect for moral principles. It is your responsibility to work in your respective countries and internationally, intervening in specialized environments and in debates concerning legislation on sensitive ethical issues, such as ending a pregnancy, the end of life and genetic medicine.”
The International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations is made up of more than 50 associations from 66 countries, mostly from Europe and Asia. Its objective is to prepare Catholic doctors to correctly deal with complex ethical cases.
It was instituted in France in 1884, in response to the message Leo XIII delivered in his encyclical Humanum Genus. In it, the pope condemned the philosophical and moral relativism proposed by Freemasonry.