Italy: Archbishop Dr Bernard Moras of Bengaluru participated in the Health Care Conference in Rome last week. He is also the member of Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers. Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as a member for this council.
The Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers (for Health Pastoral Care) organized an international conference (the 30th) from November 19-21, 2015. Centred around the recent Encyclical of Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, the three-day programme of activity had the subject ‘The Culture of Salus and Welcome at the Service of Man and the Planet’.
According to a press note issued by the Chancellor of Bengaluru Archdiocese, Fr A S Anthony Swamy, this thirtieth edition of the international conference was held a few days before the opening of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy which is dedicated specifically to the virtue which contemplates, amongst its highest expressions, specifically ‘bending down’ towards the sick person in order to comfort him or her, to alleviate his or her suffering, and, if possible, to heal him or her. This is a Diakonia of Charity which is mentioned in the gospel as the Good Samaritan. This has always a contemporary relevance and particularly in the health-care worker who lives his or her work as mission, a privileged actuation of baptism. Experts at an international level from the five continents of the world, both Catholics and others, made their contributions to the 2015 edition of the international conference.
Their papers had an inter-disciplinary and inter-cultural approach to the ecological problems highlighted in the encyclical, above all in relation to the problems connected with health, both for individuals, societies and nations, not only in the most economically and technologically developed countries of the world but also for the most disadvantaged peoples and parts of populations.
This year, as well, the international conference began with an inaugural Holy Mass at the altar of the chair of St Peter, presided over by His Eminence Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Later, the Holy Father Francis received all the participants at an audience. This meeting with Pope Francis, a key moment, had given everyone a greater impetus in his/her commitment to serving the person and the environment. It was also meant to strengthening of that invitation, which the international conference intended to re-launch, to change, to perfect or at least to improve the lifestyles of all in order to be able to work effectively in favour of the centrality of the human being, respecting the Creation: ‘an appeal to commit ourselves’ to the utmost to replace the ‘discard culture’ with the ‘culture of care’.
Every year, the Council holds three days of Conference in Rome. Archbishop Moras has participated in this Conference over the last 13 years continuously, based on the experience of working in the health field, specially as director of Fr Muller hospital, Mangalore and director at St John’s Medical College hospital Bangalore. He has contributed much in health field. He has also served as chairman of Health Commission of Catholic Bishops Conference of India. And also chairman of Governing Board of St John’s National Academy of Health Sciences. At present, he is the chairman of the Governing Council of St John’s Medical College and College of Nursing and a member of Governing Board of St John’s.
During this meeting Archbishop met Pope Francis and sought the blessings on the people of the Archdiocese in particular and of Karnataka in general especially in view of the forthcoming ‘Year of Mercy.’