Dear colleagues,

At the beginning of my term as President let me share with you some thoughts.

F.I.A.M.C. is the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations. It includes 80 Catholic Medical Associations worldwide and about 120,000 doctors.

For almost a century, it has got a dual function:

On the one hand, that of fortifying the doctors who engage in it, in their faith in Jesus Christ, to help them to apply the Gospel in their daily practice, guided by the Doctrine of the Church;

On the other hand, that of informing the Holy See, of the realities and evolutions of medicine, concerning the clinic and in the field of research.

It goes without saying that we will continue in this direction.

However, a clarification to better define ourselves and understand our action seems to me necessary …
There is no «Catholic medicine» because there is no single way – which would be the «Catholic way» – to practice medicine. On the other hand, there are doctors, all different- also in the exercise of their profession – who are Catholics.

The doctor who is a Catholic, is a woman or a man who fully exercises his freedom, especially therapeutic; as well as his responsibility that he or she possesses, both as a person and as a professional; freedom and responsibility being perfected by faith.

Thus the doctor who is Catholic is opposed to genetic manipulation, to euthanasia, to abortion, NOT because the Church asks him so, but because his reason proves it to him, enlightened in this by the faith and confirmed and supported in his conviction by the teaching of the Church.

The problems encountered by Catholic doctors vary in intensity, according to the practice and the regions of the world:

In North America, Oceania and Europe: no respect for the unborn, relativism, consumerism, individualism, transhumanism; in short: hard materialism.

In Central and South America: poverty, drugs, prostitution, lack of associacionism.

In Africa: disorder, human trafficking, corruption, war, radical extremism, hunger, orphan diseases.

In Asia: sexual abuse upon girls (particularly in India) but also radical extremism or poverty.

General practitioners face ethical and deontological challenges in the person-to-person relationship.

Specialist hospital doctors face ethical difficulties in the face of the domination of techno-sciences, industry, especially pharmaceuticals, as well as consumerism of care.

Medical researchers face ethical difficulties in choosing objectives, working strategies, as well as financial constraints.

The common denominator of these problems is the lack of formation, associated with an insufficiency of spiritual life, of which we all suffer.

Yet the Catholic doctor lives from Christ.

He has a unity of life, a coherence in all aspects of his life which implies not only professional and responsible competence, scientific and technical, in collaboration with other care disciplines; but above all, a strong and daily interior life, as well as a thorough knowledge of the Christian vision of the human being: in short, an updated Christian anthropology; expressed in both research and clinical practice; in a word, in culture.

Therefore, my goals for the presidency are:

– To increase our inner lives.
– To deepen and diffuse the Christian anthropology.
– To stimulate the special compassion that we, Catholic doctors, must develop in the face of vital and social precariousness.
In this, the story of the «Good Samaritan» inspires us. It concerns «a man», any man, the first comer. He is the next because he is a man. And he claims some of our heart.

Regarding the second objective, faithful to the Church and its Magisterium, to the teaching of our Popes Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis, we will disseminate by different media, christian anthropology and morality, as well as the right dialogue Faith-Reason-Sciences.

As for the first objective, in the world where individualism reigns supreme, we will testify to the profound hope that the joy of the Gospel is a reality. We will be missionaries of respect for the dignity of human life, as well as the development of the person, free and responsible, creative, and open to transcendence, to the Heart of Jesus and also to his fellow human beings, especially the poorest and most fragile .
This is the reason why I will ask immediately to the Holy Father, the consecration of the Catholic Physicians to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Dear Colleagues,
Together, let’s walk towards these goals, during these four years!
I thank you for your confidence and dedication!

Yours truly, Bernard Ars

July, 2018