Pastoral Care and Church Teaching
Pope John Paul the II, one of the most prominent Christian figures of the 20th century, was not just a leader of the Catholic Church but also a visible sign of unity for all Christians. During his lfietime, he spoke on a variety of topics and Pastoral Care was not an exception. Below is a document he wrote in commission of the Pastoral Care Commission of Health Care Professionals.
In the Papal Document, Dolentium Hominem, Pope John Paul II discussed the need for Pastoral Care of Health Care Professionals for the world’s suffering. He speaks of Christian dignity in dying and how pastoral counselors can help.
The deep interest which the Church has always demonstrated for the world of the suffering is well known. In this for that matter, she has done nothing more than follow the very eloquent example of her Founder and Master. In the Apostolic Letter Salvifici Doloris of 11 February 1984, I emphasized that ”in his messianic activity in the midst of Israel, Christ drew increasingly closer to the world of human suffering. ‘He went about doing good’, and his actions concerned primarily those who were suffering and seeking help” (no. 16).
In fact, over the course of the centuries the Church has felt strongly that service to the sick and suffering is an integral part of her mission, and not only has she encouraged among Christians the blossoming of various works of mercy, but she has also established many religious institutions within her with the specific aim to fostering, organizing, improving and increasing help to the sick Missionaries, on their part, in carrying out the work of evangelization have constantly combined the preaching of the Good News with the help and care of the sick.
For the full document, please click this link
As one can see, Pastoral Care is also a Christian endeavor that is not just merely a career but a vocational calling of all Christians.
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