Bookmark and Share

October 18, 2000


Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia, issued a 12 page booklet today of pastoral reflections on Catholic health care as the new millennium begins. The release of Pastoral Reflections on Catholic Health Care coincides with the Feast of Saint Luke, Evangelist and Physician, on October 18th. In presenting an advance copy to the Delaware Valley Catholic Health Care Alliance on October 13, 2000, Cardinal Bevilacqua said, "I believe that it is opportune for me to make a pastoral statement regarding Catholic health care not only for the encouragement and benefit of those working in the ministry, but also for the Catholic community and, really the entire community of this region."

The four goals of Pastoral Reflections on Catholic Health Care are: to explain why the Church is involved in health care; to affirm and offer pastoral guidance and encouragement to all who work in Catholic health care; to offer a brief explanation of the current crisis in health care and point out how the changes in health care are affecting Catholic providers and therefore having an effect on that important dimension of the ministry of the Church and to rally support for reforms ensuring that Catholic health care remains vigorous.

It is estimated that in the United States one in five persons receives health care from a Catholic provider (Lewin Group analysis of 1998 American Hospital Association data). There are currently eight Catholic acute-care hospitals in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and 14 long-term, or skilled-care nursing facilities. In addition, Catholic health care has diversified to include home health services, parish nursing and community-based ambulatory care centers. (Acute-care facilities are generally sponsored by religious congregations of women. The Archdiocese, through Catholic Health Care Services, manages the operations of five skilled-care nursing facilities with a total of 1,100 beds.)

Pastoral Reflections on Catholic Health Care will be widely distributed to all Archdiocesan priests who will be encouraged to disseminate it among their parishioners. Copies will also be sent to all of the sponsoring religious congregations, health system senior managers, Catholic health care administrators and public officials. Cardinal Bevilacqua stated that, "Catholic health care is an important expression of the mission of the church, and like all of health care, Catholic health care is facing serious challenges at this time. I hope that this statement helps our Catholic people to know that the changes in health care and the need for reform of our health care system are concerns of the church and so should be concerns of all Catholics."


Editor's note: For a copy of Pastoral Reflections on Catholic Health Care, please contact Donna Crilley in the Office for Communications at 215-587-3747.

Those available to discuss Pastoral Reflections on Catholic Health Care include Rev. Msgr. Timothy Senior, Secretary for Catholic Human Services and Judy Passerini, Deputy Secretary for Catholic Health Care Services,

Donna Crilley
Broadcast and Media Specialist

Back to Top