Ensure that all mentally ill people are given access to necessary forms of care and treatment - Message of His Holiness Benedict XVI for the 14th World Day of the Sick (2006)

by His Holiness Benedict XVI  |  02/11/2006  |  Catholic Church Documents

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The 14th World Day of the Sick will be celebrated on 11 February 2006, the liturgical Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes. Last year the Day was celebrated at the Marian Shrine of Mvolyé, Yaoundé, and on that occasion the faithful and their Pastors, on behalf of the whole African Continent, reaffirmed their pastoral commitment to the sick.

The next World Day of the Sick will be celebrated in Adelaide, Australia, and the events will culminate with a Eucharistic Celebration in the Cathedral dedicated to St Francis Xavier, an unflagging missionary to the peoples of the Orient.

On this occasion, the Church intends to bow down over those who suffer with special concern, calling the attention of public opinion to the problems connected with mental disturbance that now afflicts one-fifth of humanity and is a real social-health care emergency.

Recalling the attention that my venerable Predecessor John Paul II devoted to this annual event, I too, dear brothers and sisters, would like to be spiritually present on the World Day of the Sick, to pause in order to reflect, in harmony with those taking part, on the situation of the mentally ill in the world and to call for the commitment of Ecclesial Communities to bear witness to the tender mercy of God towards them.