“Their presence has distinguished the history of the Church, showing her closeness to the sick and the poor, and to situations overlooked by others,” he wrote.
Pope Francis created a foundation in October offering financial support to Catholic hospitals in difficulty. The foundation, known in Italian as the Fondazione per la Sanità Cattolica, was established in response to requests for “direct intervention” by the Vatican to help Catholic institutions.
On Dec. 24, it was announced that the new Vatican foundation had joined together with the Leonardo Del Vecchio Foundation to save and relaunch Rome’s historic Fatebenefratelli Hospital, which has been in dire financial straits since 2013.
The nearly bankrupt Catholic hospital on Rome’s Tiber Island is run by the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God.
Catholic healthcare is important both in poor countries, where people lack access to adequate care, and in the most developed countries, Pope Francis said, where, “in addition to caring for the body with all necessary expertise, they can always offer the gift of charity, which focuses on the sick themselves and their families.”
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At ACI Africa, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news from Africa, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church - so that you can grow in your Catholic faith.
When you subscribe to the ACI Africa Updates, we will send you a daily email with links to the news you need.
Use the form below to stay informed, and to tell us where we can send the ACI Africa Updates!
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
“At a time in which the culture of waste is widespread and life is not always acknowledged as worthy of being welcomed and lived, these structures, like ‘houses of mercy,’ can be exemplary in protecting and caring for all life, even the most fragile, from its beginning until its natural end,” he said.
Francis closed his message by entrusting all of the sick and their families to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, under the title Health of the Infirm.
“United with Christ, who bears the pain of the world, may they find meaning, consolation, and trust. I pray for healthcare workers everywhere, that, rich in mercy, they may offer patients, together with suitable care, their fraternal closeness,” he said.
Hannah Brockhaus is Catholic News Agency's senior Rome correspondent. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and has a degree in English from Truman State University in Missouri.