Health is not a consumer good

Addressing the 77th World Health Assembly, Archbishop Ettore Balestrero, apostolic nuncio and the Vatican’s Permanent Observer to the UN said: “Health is not a consumer good, but a universal right, and therefore access to healthcare services cannot be a privilege. It is not merely a question of helping others, it is a matter of justice. With regard to health, this requires the realisation of a culture of care, based on the recognition of the sacredness of life and of the inalienable dignity of each and every human person, and where the priority is always to save lives.”


Individualised society

Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, while delivering a lecture at the Croatian Catholic University, warned that society is heading toward the state where “man is a wolf to man”. He linked the transformation of “healthy patriotism into a dangerous nationalism” to an earlier shift from the “we” of the human person to the “I” of the individual.

This individualism, he continued, has become a hyper-individualised atomism in which people no longer see themselves in a web of relationships and as collaborators for mutual benefit, but rather as competitors. Gallagher said politics “should always be understood not as an appropriation of power, but as the highest form of charity”. The Christian politician, said Gallagher, does so when he is attentive to the fundamental principles that serve the dignity of the human person and promote the common good.


God is close

God is “not distant and jealous, but close and in solidarity with humanity,” the pope said on the occasion of the feast of Corpus Christi. The Lord is “a God who does not abandon us but always seeks, waits for and accompanies us, even to the point of placing himself, helpless, into our hands, subjecting himself to our acceptance or rejection. His real presence also invites us to be close to our brothers and sisters wherever love calls us,” the pope added.


(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)

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