Regarding vaccines, “it is urgent to help the countries that have less, but we need to do so with far-sighted plans, not motivated only by the haste of wealthy nations to be safer. The remedies must be distributed with dignity, not as merciful alms ». The Pope returned to a topic that is particularly close to his heart, such as justice in the distribution of vaccines. He did so speaking at the Biomedical University Foundation of the Campus Biomedico University of Rome, directed by Paolo Arullani in a speech centered on a concept which inspired the activity of the hospital and scientific institution based in Trigoria and which was wanted by Blessed Alvaro del Portillo, successor of St. Josemarìa Escrivà at the head of Opus Dei: “Putting the sick before illness”. A guiding idea that inspired the Pope to thank the Biomedical Campus «because they favor human development of research. Often, unfortunately – added Francesco -, the profitable ways of profits are pursued, forgetting that before the earning opportunities there are the needs of the sick. They evolve continuously and it is therefore necessary to prepare to face ever new pathologies and discomforts. I have in mind, among others, those of many elderly people and those linked to the many rare diseases, which we do not know what they are, there has not yet been research to understand them well … ». Between the Polyclinic, Universities and Research Centers, «you help those who do not have the economic means to support university expenses and face significant costs that the ordinary budget cannot bear. I am thinking in particular of the commitment already faced for the Covid Center, for the Emergency Department and for the recent reality of the Hospice ». At the Campus “the focus is not only on assistance, but also on research to provide the sick with the most suitable therapies, and above all it is done with love for the person”.
Here is the point that changes everything: «Putting the sick before the disease: it is essential in every field of medicine; it is fundamental for a cure that is truly such, truly integral, truly human. The sick before the disease. Blessed Alvaro del Portillo encouraged you to do this: to place yourselves every day at the service of the human person in his entirety. I thank you for this, it is very pleasing to God ». In fact, the “centrality of the person” helps “to strengthen a unitary vision”, which “does not put ideas, techniques and projects in the first place, but the concrete man, the patient, to be treated by encountering his history, knowing his experience, establishing relationships friendly, healing the heart. Love for man, especially in his condition of fragility, in which the image of Jesus Crucified shines through, is specific to a Christian reality and must never be lost ”.
Francis is thinking of “Catholic health care” – to support which he recently created an ad hoc Foundation entrusting its leadership to Monsignor Nunzio Galantino, president of Apsa -, today called “to testify with facts that there are no unworthy lives or to be discarded because they do not they meet the criterion of profit or the needs of profit “. It is not just a question of providing high-level care: «We are living a true culture of waste; this is a bit like the air we breathe and we must react against this throwaway culture. Every health facility, in particular of Christian inspiration, should be the place where personal care is practiced and about which we can say: “Here we do not see only doctors and the sick, but people who welcome and help each other: here we touch the therapy of human dignity with a hand “. And this must never be negotiated, it must always be defended ». A health facility, especially if inspired by the Gospel, must therefore “put personal care at the center, without forgetting the importance of science and research. Because cure without science is in vain, just as science without cure is sterile. The two things go together, and only together do they make medicine an art, an art that involves head and heart, which combines knowledge and compassion, professionalism and piety, competence and empathy ».
The pandemic has taken on the task of bringing all health structures and systems back to reality by showing – added the Holy Father – “the importance of connecting, of collaborating, of tackling common problems together. Healthcare, especially Catholic, has and will increasingly need this, to be online, which is a way of expressing the whole. It is no longer time to follow one’s own charism in an isolated way. Charity requires a gift: knowledge must be shared, competence must be shared, science must be shared. Science – I say -, not only the products of science which, if offered alone, remain patches able to stop the disease but not to cure it in depth ”.
In other words, good must be done well, especially when human life is involved: “To really do good – it is Francis’ reading – it is necessary to promote science and its integral application: to understand the contexts, to root the treatments, to make the health culture grow. It is not easy, it is a real mission, and I hope that Catholic health care will be increasingly active in this sense, as an expression of an extroverted Church, of an outgoing Church ”.
A foundation for research and training
The “Biomedical University Foundation” – foundation of the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome – has as its mission to ensure, over time and in a stable form, the growth, development and international dissemination of teaching, health care and research activities. Campus through an «endowment fund» (inalienable patrimonial fund) and the research, assistance and teaching initiatives that characterize the Roman institution.
The audience in the Vatican – explain sources of the Foundation – “also created the opportunity to express the desire to offer a donation in favor of a need that the Holy Father will want to indicate. With this gesture we want to show him our closeness and join his intentions ». Info: https://www.biomedicalfoundation.org