Vatican cardinal visits Adelaide hospital patients

Papal emissary Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan visited patients at Calvary Health Care Adelaide yesterday in the lead up to the 14th World Day of the Sick being held in Adelaide for the first time this week.

Cardinal Lozano Barragan (pictured right) heads the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care will open World Day of the Sick today with a keynote address at a conference focusing on mental health and human dignity at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

Other conference speakers include renowned psychiatrist Professor Ian Hickie, author and member of the New South Wales Mental Health Review Anne Deveson and actor and board member of beyondblue Garry McDonald.

The international event will run from today until Saturday. It is attracting Catholic bishops and clergy, conference delegates and health professionals and carers from across the world.

World Day of the Sick was inaugurated by Pope John Paul II in 1992 to focus attention on human suffering and to the vital role of carers of the sick and elderly.

Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson (pictured left) said: "World Day of the Sick will challenge us to engage and experience the needs of those who are most vulnerable in our society. We will endeavour to make inroads into what has become one of the biggest health problems affecting the world today."

Meanwhile ABC News is reporting that Archbishop Wilson has responded for the first time to allegations the church has been compromised by financial contributions from the state Government.

Liberal MP Julian Stefani last week described church leaders as "harlots and goons" over their relationship with the Government.

Archbishop Philip Wilson said: "I think that it's very important for people to realise that the Catholic Church is looking to cooperate with people no matter what political party they belong to in order to further the wellbeing of the people of the community.

Archbishop Wilson stressed that the Church is not party-political.

"The fact of the matter is that we look to cooperate with any political party, people who are in government or otherwise in order to help develop to the welfare of people who live in our state or in our country," he said.

Vatican cardinal visits Adelaide hospital patients (Catholic Communications Adelaide 8/2/06)
Archbishop defends government 'cooperation' (ABC News 8/2/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
World Day of the Sick
Apostolic Penitentiary | Decree according to which Special Indulgences are conceded on occasion of the «14th World Day of the Sick» (January 18, 2006)

Pope authorises indulgences for Adelaide Day of Sick (CathNews 6/2/06)
Church "drawn into politics" by accepting Govt hospitality (CathNews 1/2/06)
Wollongong priest to link mental health with human dignity (CathNews 24/1/06)
Personalities aid World Day of Sick mental illness focus (CathNews 9/1/06)
Pope announces mental health focus for Adelaide World Day of Sick (CathNews 9/12/05)
Adelaide to host World Day of the Sick (CathNews 30/9/05)

Church defends ties with the state (The Australian 9/2/06 - print edition)

9 Feb 2006