Christ Centered Health Care
The healing of the sick was an integral part of Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry. In imitation of Christ, the Divine Physician, the Catholic Church has always recognized it is a part of her mission to care, both physically and spiritually, for the sick and suffering. The practice of medicine and healing of the sick must never be separated from the infinitely kind and merciful guidance of Jesus Christ who travelled throughout Galilee “healing every disease and every sickness among the people” (Mt 4:23).
The Catholic Health Care Leadership Alliance (CHCLA) seeks to renew Catholic health care that is Christ-centered by promoting the moral and social doctrines of the Magisterium and the Ethical and Religious Directives of Catholic Health Care (ERDs). CHCLA believes that health care professionals are called to participate in Christ’s healing and saving mission in such a way that manifests His truth, love, and mercy.
Participating in Christ’s healing mission requires a devotion to Christ’s presence. Catholic hospitals have a longtime tradition of celebrating Mass, administering the sacraments, and prayer. These practices resolutely declare that the healing of the human person cannot be fully realized without the presence of Christ and the work of divine grace. The human person is both body and soul and destined for an eternal life of love and beatitude. It is the presence of Christ, made known through His followers, that has distinguished Catholic hospitals from secular institutions and resulted in excellent and holistic patient care.
The presence of Christ at Catholic health care institutions makes know Christ’s reign and the Kingdom of God. Catholic health care institutions address contemporary societal problems to create a more just social order that is oriented to the practice of virtue and human flourishing. Today, Catholic institutions address issues such as human trafficking, access to health care, and health care costs by providing free clinics and other forms of assistance. Catholic institutions also advocate for better health care through public policy.
No other ministry in the Church in the United States is better suited to bring about a spiritual and cultural revolution to the fidelity of our Lord than Catholic health care. Now is the time to restore the glory of Catholic health care and build a culture of life that respects the human life and dignity.