Sovereign Military Hospitaller
Order of St John of Jerusalem of
Rhodes and of Malta

Pope Francis Receives the Managers of the Order of Malta’s Hospital in Rome: “Continue your Mission with Courage”

13/06/2013

The delegation received this morning in the Vatican with the Grand Master. For the Pope “the linear cut in resources is an offence against human life and risks turning life into a bargaining tool”

This morning the Holy Father Pope Francis received in private audience the Grand Master of the Order of Malta, Fra’ Matthew Festing, accompanied by the Cardinalis Patronus Paolo Sardi and the managers of the Order of Malta’s San Giovanni Battista Hospital in Rome.

During the encounter the Grand Master presented the activities of the Order of Malta, stressing the ancient tradition of caring for the weak and suffering that has always distinguished its work.

The Pontiff urged those present to continue the Hospital’s work with courage and hope, sentiments that he asked them to extend to all the staff in the hospital, the polyclinics and the diabetes centres. He stressed that the present crisis is more moral than economic. The linear cut in resources is an offence against human life and risks turning life into a bargaining tool,” explained Pope Francis.

Concluding, the Holy Father urged those present to consider their fellow creatures as flesh of Christ that is ‘very difficult to cure’ but which precisely for this we must consider a moral challenge.

The general manager of the Order of Malta’s Hospital, Tiziana Frittelli, thanking the Holy Father for the strong moral support he shows for healthcare in general, and the Catholic one in particular, pointed out the current profound crisis in the national health service and the efforts needed to keep alive the ‘mission’ of the hospitals who have to use their human, professional and economic resources in protecting the most socially vulnerable.

Among the main activities of the San Giovanni Battista Hospital is the reawakening unit, specialized in the delicate recovery stage when patients with brain injuries come out of their coma. The Grand Hospitaller Albrecht Boeselager, also received this morning in the Vatican, illustrated the other healthcare work the Order of Malta carries out in Italy and in 120 countries, with particular reference to safeguarding and protecting life in all its expressions.