Calls on Medical Professionals to ‘Spread the Gospel of Life’
By Junno Arocho Esteves
“Every unborn child, condemned unjustly to be aborted, has the face of the Lord.” Pope Francis stressed these words today during a meeting with hundreds of obstetricians/gynecologists who are in Rome for a conference sponsored by the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations. The conference, which will conclude on September 22nd, will reflect on the theme, “The New Evangelization, the obstetric practices and the care of mothers.”
The Holy Father began his address explaining that a paradoxical situation exists in today’s medical profession. On one hand, modern medicine has shown progress in finding new cures for diseases. But on the other, the Pope warned, “we also find the danger that the doctor might lose his/her identity as a servant of life.”
“Although by their nature they are at the service of life, health professions are sometimes induced to disregard life itself,” the Pope said. “If you lose the personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of a new life, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away. The acceptance of life strengthens moral fiber and makes people capable of mutual help.”
The Pope stressed that the final objective of a doctor is always in the defense and promotion of life.
Collaborators in the Creation of Life
Continuing his address, the Holy Father appealed to all healthcare professionals, in particularly those in the field of gynecology, which he said are “called to collaborate in the creation of new human lives. “Yours is a unique vocation and mission, which requires study, conscience and humanity,” he said.
“A widespread mentality of profits, the ‘culture of waste’, which now enslaves the hearts and minds of many, has a very high cost: it requires the elimination of human beings, especially if they are physically or socially weaker”.
The Pope told the medical professionals present that every fragile person one encounters is an invitation to recognize the face of Christ, who in his flesh, “experienced the indifference and loneliness that often condemn the poorest, both in the developing world and in affluent societies.” The face of Christ he said can be seen in the unborn children condemned to abortion as well as the elderly and the sick. “You cannot discard them!,” the Pope exclaimed.
Concluding his address, the Holy Father invited the participants to be witnesses in their professions of a culture of life. Your being Catholic entails greater responsibility: first of all to yourself , for the effort to be consistent with the Christian vocation, and then to contemporary culture , to help recognize the transcendent dimension in human life , the imprint of the creative work of God, from the very first moment of her conception.”
Christ, he concluded, is counting on them to spread the Gospel of Life.