OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - ‘Caring for people with a mental infirmity’ World Day for the Sick 11 February: main celebration in Adelaide

Tuesday, 11 October 2005

Adelaide (Fides Service) - Caring for people with a mental infirmity is the theme chosen for the 13th World Day for the Sick. Adelaide in Australia will host the main celebration of this event organised by the Catholic Church on 11th February every year since 1992 and celebrated all over the world. The theme chosen by Pope Benedict XVI was recently confirmed by Bishop José Luis Redrado Marchite, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care who said the subject of mental infirmity is very close to the heart of the present Pope.
In fact on 28 November in 1996 when the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger spoke at an international conference organised by the Pontifical Council he told those present of the case of a cousin of his a few years younger who had been killed in 1941 by the Nazi regime because he suffered from the Down syndrome. As Pope John Paul before him, Pope Benedict XVI will write a special message for the day and appoint a papal envoy for the main celebration 9-11 February in Adelaide.
During a recent visit to Oceania for Pro-Life Conference in New Zealand the president of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán, visited Australia and was accompanied by the Bishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson to view the site chosen for the Day of the Sick event.
The event will include conferences on the 9th and 10th February with the Bishops of Oceania focussing on mental infirmity from the theological-pastoral and scientific-theological points of view. The culminating event will be the Mass on 11th February feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, presided by the papal envoy. A delegation of the Pontifical Council will take part with other delegates from Europe.
. (AP) (11/10/2005 Agenzia Fides; Righe:25; Parole: 258)