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Pope asks to not attack medical personnel in war, nor use heath as a political arm

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest,” is the title of the pope's message for the World Day of the Sick. It is celebrated every Feb.11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

The pope assures the sick that those who are especially "tired and burdened" should go to Jesus where they can find "strength to face all the worries and questions that assail them during this 'dark night' of body and soul." 

He reminded that Christ offers His mercy and He is not indifferent to the suffering of His people.

In this message, Pope Francis highlights the need to provide comfort and love to sick people because, sometimes, “human warmth is lacking in our approach to these. What is needed is a personalized approach to the sick, not just of curing but also of caring, in view of an integral human healing.”

It is also addressed to health personnel. It invites medical professionals to be open to faith, especially when medical science cannot do more for a patient. He explains that, although they sometimes cannot cure the patient, they can always serve the sick person, because “the noun 'person' takes priority over the adjective 'sick.'”

The pope also recalls embracing people entirely, saying “life is sacred and belongs to God.” Thus, “it is inviolable and no one can claim the right to dispose of it freely.” It must be “welcomed, protected, respected and served from its beginning to its end.”

Finally, Pope Francis regrets that in war contexts, health personnel and medical centers are attacked. The letter condemns the political powers that try to “manipulate medical care for their own advantage, thus restricting the medical profession’s legitimate autonomy.” Therefore, it concludes saying attacking healthcare professionals in this way "does not serve the interests of anyone."

Ángeles Conde
Translation: Melissa Butz