On 5 March, 2014, a Declaration of Faith for Catholic doctors and medical students was published in a letter by Dr. Wanda Półtawska, a friend of Pope John Paul II. It was subsequently signed by over 3,000 people.
The Declaration was carved onto two stone tablets and deposited at Jasna Gora on 25 May, 2014, during a pilgrimage of health care workers to honour the canonization of John Paul II. It closes with an affirmation that Catholics, including physicians, “have a right to perform their professional activities in accordance with their conscience.”
Now translated into English by MaterCare International, we urge you to sign this document in solidarity with all medical professionals who have been persecuted for their faith.
DECLARATION OF FAITH
Of Catholic doctors and students of medicine, on the sexuality and fertility of human beings
We, doctors, entrusted to protect human life from its conception until its natural end;
1. BELIEVE in one God, the Lord of Heaven and earth, who created man and woman in His own image and likeness.
2. PROCLAIM that the human body and life, being gifts from God, are sacred and inviolable and that,
a. The body is subject to the laws of nature but is formed by The Creator;
b. The moments of human conception and dying offer us, by God’s grace, the opportunity to participate in God’s love, creation and passion. If a person acts by their own will to negatively alter conception and bring about death, then he or she not only violates the basic commandments of the Decalogue, committing acts such as abortion, euthanasia, contraception, artificial insemination, and/or in vitro fertilisation, but rejects The Creator as well.
3. ACCEPT the truth that human sexuality is a gift of God and provides the method by which human beings are ennobled with the privilege to become “co-creators with God in the work of creation” through parenthood. The call to parenthood is God’s plan, and only those bound with Him by the holy sacrament of marriage have the ability to rightly use these gifts, which are sacred, in the human body.
4. ACKNOWLEDGE that the foundation for the dignity and freedom of the Catholic doctor is exclusively his or her conscience, enlightened by the Holy Spirit and informed by the teaching of the Church, and that he or she has the right to act according to said conscience and in keeping with medical ethics that have established the doctor’s right to oppose all acts that are against one’s conscience.
5. RECOGNISE the priority of God’s law over the law of nations and,
a. The current need for providing alternatives to the anti-human ideologies and dictates imposed by some contemporary societies.
b. The need to constantly deepen not only professional knowledge but also the knowledge of Christian anthropology and theology of the body.
6. BELIEVE that, while not imposing their beliefs and opinions, Catholics, including doctors and students, have a right to perform their professional activities in accordance with their conscience.
“To Doctors and Nurses
Likewise we hold in the highest esteem those doctors and members of the nursing profession who, in the exercise of their calling, endeavor to fulfill the demands of their Christian vocation before any merely human interest. Let them therefore continue constant in their resolution always to support those lines of action which accord with faith and with right reason. And let them strive to win agreement and support for these policies among their professional colleagues. Moreover, they should regard it as an essential part of their skill to make themselves fully proficient in this difficult field of medical knowledge. For then, when married couples ask for their advice, they may be in a position to give them right counsel and to point them in the proper direction. Married couples have a right to expect this much from them.” Paul VI, Humanae Vitae, 27.
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