Pope Francis: The Sick are ‘Not Disposable’

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Currents News Staff

With several children joining him in the popemobile, on August 28 the Holy Father returned to Saint Peter’s Square for his weekly teaching to pilgrims.

This time, Pope Francis focused on the sick and our responsibility to care for them, centering his catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles. 

He reflected on when St. Peter passed through Solomon’s portico and his shadow healed the sick. 

He recalled how throughout the ages, the sick have always been at the heart of the Church. Even during St. Peter’s time, he said, it was already “a field hospital” for those most in need.

“The sick are the privileged recipients of the happy proclamation of the kingdom. They are brothers and sisters in whom Christ is present in a special way to allow himself to be sought and found by all of us,” the pontiff said.

“The sick are the privileged for the Church; for the priestly heart; and for all the faithful. They are not disposable. On the contrary, they must be treated and cared for. They are the object of Christian concern,” he added.

The Holy Father noted how Peter received leadership from Jesus, but it didn’t make him believe he was more important than others. This is because Peter knew it was another who manifested himself through Peter’s works.

“In this way, God manifests his closeness and makes the wounds of his children the theological place of his tenderness. In the wounds of the sick, in the illnesses that prevent us from moving forward in life,” Pope Francis said. 

“It is there where Jesus is always present. It is there where He calls each one of us to take care of the sick, to support them and to heal them.”

The pontiff also pointed out that the teaching of the Apostles and Peter disturbed the Sadducees who persecuted them and imprisoned them. However, the Apostles never wavered, knowing “we must obey God rather than men.”

Pope Francis also asked the Holy Spirit to give people the strength not to be frightened when others try to silent them, slander them or attack their lives.