Pope Francis has given his approval for the Catholic Church to hold the first Plenary Council – the most significant national gathering that can be held – in Australia in more than 80 years.
Just as Jesus healed people during his earthly mission, care for the sick is a mission the entire Church is called to take part in. This is a message Pope Francis made clear ahead of World Health Day, observed globally on April 7.
The Roman Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of health care services in the world. It has around 18,000 clinics, 16,000 homes for the elderly and those with special needs, and 5,500 hospitals – with 65% of them located in developing countries. In 2010, The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Health Care Workers said that the Church manages 26% of the world’s health care facilities.
Found on the banks of the Coal River and nestled next to Australia’s oldest bridge is St John’s Catholic Church, the oldest still-functioning Catholic Church in Australia.