Bernard Ars, the president of the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations (FIAMC), giving a video message ahead of 26th World Congress of Catholic Physicians to be held Sept. 15-17 in Rome. (Screenshot from fiamc.org)

By UCA News reporter

Sep 7 2022

World Congress of Catholic Physicians aims to transform people with both medicines and relationships.

Catholic doctors and medical scholars from across the world will meet in Rome in mid-September to discuss and get training on “Christian humanism” in the medical context.

The 26th World Congress of Catholic Physicians will be held Sept. 15-17. It is being organized by the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations (FIAMC), says a press release from the organization.

The federation represents 120,000 members in 80 Catholic medical associations across the continents. It is the only organization of physicians recognized by the Vatican.

It gathers information on developments in medicine and medical research to incorporate into the Church and infuses the Gospel message and the Church’s teachings among its members.

“A Catholic Christian who practices medicine sees in the patient the image and likeness of God. This is the basis for unconditional respect for the human dignity of the patient,” the organization pointed out.

The theme of the Rome Congress is “Reparation versus Transformation in Medicine.”

“A post-graduate Christian humanist training course”

The group says the theme evokes “Christian humanism” in the medical context: the idea of “repair” versus the idea of “transformation,” to create a specific “transhuman.”

“To repair in medicine means: to restore the human body to its proper state, as far as possible, respecting what is specific to human nature, body, psyche, relationship, and spirit,” the group said.

“According to ‘transhumanism’ to transform is to transgress human nature, based on human autonomy, entirely according to one’s desires.”

FIMAC president Bernard Ars said that the congress is designed, unlike usual ones, as a post-graduate Christian humanist training course for its members.

“This is not a panoramic display of the activities of the federation,” he said in a statement on the FIAMC website.

Dr. Ars noted that the conference will reflect on three aspects of the “restoration process” for human beings — medical, philosophical, and theological.

“Human ecology also implies something profound”

He pointed out that the theme “restore” has been developed in line with concepts inspired by Pope (Emeritus) Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.

In his speech to the Bundestag (German federal parliament) in 2011, Pope Benedict XVI declared that the conception of reason and nature, which brought philosophy and faith into harmony, has been contradicted for at least half a century by the almighty power of a “legal positivism” which obscures the horizon, deprives the legislator of any reference to God, Dr. Ars said.

In his environmental encyclical Laudato Si Pope Francis said: “Human ecology also implies something profound: the relation of the life of the human being with the moral law inscribed in his nature, a necessary relation to be able to create a more dignified environment,” he noted.

During the conference, young physicians and medical students from all parts of the world will witness their hope of practicing medicine as Catholics, the press statement added. – UCA News