MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER OF THE 25th WORLD DAY OF THE SICK 2017
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
FOR THE TWENTY-FIFTH WORLD DAY OF THE SICK
(11 FEBRUARY 2017)
Amazement at what God has accomplished:
“The Almighty has done great things for me…” (Lk 1:49)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
On 11 February next, the Twenty-fifth World Day of the Sick will be celebrated throughout the Church and in a special way at Lourdes. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Amazement at what God has accomplished: ‘The Almighty has done great things for me….’” (Lk 1:49). Instituted by my predecessor Saint John Paul II in 1992, and first celebrated at Lourdes on 11 February 1993, this Day is an opportunity to reflect in particular on the needs of the sick and, more generally, of all those who suffer. It is also an occasion for those who generously assist the sick, beginning with family members, health workers and volunteers, to give thanks for their God-given vocation of accompanying our infirm brothers and sisters. This celebration likewise gives the Church renewed spiritual energy for carrying out ever more fully that fundamental part of her mission which includes serving the poor, the infirm, the suffering, the outcast and the marginalized (cf. JOHN PAUL II, Motu Proprio Dolentium Hominum, 11 February 1985, 1). Surely, the moments of prayer, the Eucharistic liturgies and the celebrations of the Anointing of the Sick, the sharing with the sick and the bioethical and theological-pastoral workshops to be held in Lourdes in those days will make new and significant contributions to that service.
Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan Release Statements
on Physician Assisted Sucide (PAS)
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It has now been two years since the Supreme Court of Canada overturned the existing laws against physician assisted suicide (PAS) and euthanasia. During these past two years, alongside Catholic dioceses/eparchies and organizations across the country, and often joined by other Christian communities and religious traditions, we have sought to express and articulate the reasons for our opposition to PAS and euthanasia.
The Saskatchewan bishops, accompanied by a committee made up of Catholics involved in healthcare, theologians and experts in other areas, have been working on a series of documents on euthanasia and assisted suicide.
There are four texts, which will be of differing uses as they address different audiences and have particular aims.
Saskatchewan Catholic Bishops’ responses to Physician Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia – World Day of the Sick 2017 This first text is an Introduction to the next three texts.
‘Living Through Our Dying’ This second text is a pastoral letter that targets a readership both within and outside of the Catholic Church. It was drafted with our health care facilities in mind. It aims to initiate a dialogue with our culture, recognizing that many struggle to see our Catholic perspective on life as simply an opposition to PAS as an expression of compassion.
‘Jesus: The Word Who is Life‘ This third text is a pastoral reflection directed towards our parishioners or for catechetical purposes. It works from a paschal perspective, speaking of human dying under the headings of Jesus in our living, our dying and our hope for resurrection.
Pastoral Guidelines, This fourth text is addressed to priests, deacons and the Catholic faithful. It aims to offer support and guidance to those ministering to people facing the end of their earthly lives before continuing in eternal life.