CCCB Pastoral Letter on Catholic Health Ministry and the Catholic Church in Canada
(CCCB – Ottawa) To mark the World Day of the Sick, held annually on 11 February, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has issued a pastoral letter on Catholic health ministry in Canada.
The pastoral letter is in response to the changing aspects of Catholic health ministry. Most hospitals in Canada today are no longer under religious auspices, although a number of Catholic health-care facilities still remain throughout the country.
While recalling the history of Catholic involvement in the country’s health system, and its close links with the Church, the bishops on the CCCB Permanent Council decided it was opportune for renewed reflections and a fresh look at this ministry. Among the points they make are its foundations in Catholic faith, the aspects involved in a Catholic vision of the healing ministry, and the new challenges being faced as many of the religious communities which had founded the hospitals are now handing on their administration to others.
The pastoral letter serves as a reminder that the Church continues to have an important role in health care. “From the early days of this country, countless women and men have devoted their entire lives to caring for the sick and they left a powerful legacy of Catholic health ministry. All Catholics must now preserve, build upon, and keep in trust this legacy for future generations,” the bishops state.
The pastoral letter was signed by the 16 members of the CCCB Permanent Council.