SYDNEY will host the Church’s 9th World Day of the Sick on February 11 next year.
The theme of the day, to be celebrated in St Mary’s Cathedral, is “New Evangelisation and the Dignity of Suffering Man”.
The announcement that Sydney would host the international event, coincided with the release of Pope John Paul’s message for the 2001 World Day of the Sick in Rome late last month.
The Pope appeals for an effort to bring about the necessary developments in health services in those countries that find it impossible to offer their people decent living conditions and suitable health care.
The Pope says the majority of people in poorer countries lack “the indispensable care necessary for health” and describes this as “a great scandal”.
“Supporting health for all is a primary duty for every member of the international community,” he says.
“For Christians this represents a commitment linked intimately with the witness of their faith. T
hey know they must give solid proclamation of the Gospel of life, promoting respect for life and rejecting all attacks against it, from abortion to euthanasia.”
Pope John Paul asks that “the great potential of modern medicine be put at the effective service of man and applied in full respect of his dignity”.
Medical research “must always be guided by concern for delivering an effective service to the sick, giving them practical support in their struggle against illness”.
“Clinical experimentation must be practised in full respect of the person and with a clear awareness of its risks, and consequently, of its limits.”
The Pope asks the sick and health care professionals to “proclaim and give witness to the Gospel of life and hope with generous willingness”.
“Announce that Christ is the consolation of all who live in torment and difficulties. He is the strength for those passing through moments of fatigue and vulnerability.”