Did you know the Vatican opened a health clinic for Rome’s poor? Here’s why.

The Catholic Church is charged with caring for souls, but Pope Francis has reminded us over and over again of the importance of caring for bodily needs as well. The latest example of this commitment was launched March 1, when the Vatican opened a free health clinic in an effort to minister to those in Rome who cannot afford medical care. The clinic, conceived of by Pope Francis and managed by the Vatican almoner, is staffed by doctors from the Supportive Medical Association and a local hospital. The clinic follows several efforts by the Vatican to practice the corporal works of mercy. It has already set up dormitories, showers and a barbershop for people who are homeless. The latest effort serves as a reminder that health care is a human right and should be available to all, not simply to those wealthy enough to afford it. These projects also demonstrate that aid to those in need requires a multifaceted and sustained commitment.

Fortunately, individuals hoping to make a similar commitment to the works of mercy need not travel to the Vatican. The church has considerable experience with reaching out to those on the margins. Local, national and international efforts, including organizations like the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services, Jesuit Refugee Service and many others have for years worked to meet the needs of people living in poverty and continue to offer opportunities or ideas for getting involved. Especially in this Year of Mercy, let us make every effort to venture to the margins, to serve and, in modeling Christ’s service to others, to see his face in everyone we meet.

Advertisement
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Charles Erlinger
1 year 10 months ago
I would like to add Doctors Without Borders to the list of fine organizations that you mention. They, among others, have taken a lot of lethal blows lately.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Jars of medical marijuana on display on at the Western Caregivers Medical dispensary in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
The Justice Department is vowing to enforce a federal ban on marijuana, even as some states try to move toward full legalization.
Ellen K. BoegelJanuary 16, 2018
Catholic women may be part of a Democratic voting wave in 2018. They are ready to welcome women deacons.
Mark M. GrayJanuary 16, 2018
This issue of America presents the findings of the most comprehensive survey of U.S. Catholic women ever conducted.
Matt Malone, S.J.January 16, 2018
All the women who responded to this survey still identify themselves as Catholic, however far they may have strayed from a consistent practice of the faith they were raised in.
The EditorsJanuary 16, 2018