The Church of the Good Samaritan and the Evangelization of Catholic Health Care
Supreme Knight Address Catholic Medical Association
During the keynote address to hundreds of doctors and medical personnel at the closing banquet of the Catholic Medical Association’s Annual Education Conference, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson highlighted the unique role the attendees can play in evangelizing not only their profession, but in evangelizing society as a whole.
“For you who care for the health of others, you are truly on the front lines of this cultural engagement. Your example – in following the principles of your faith in your work – is a key element in the New Evangelization,” the supreme knight said. “Your decisions about preserving life have a direct effect not only on the life of a particular patient in a particular instance, but also on the culture – the culture of that person’s family, the culture of your hospital and medical practice, and the culture of our country.”
During his remarks, Supreme Knight Anderson related the parable of the Good Samaritan in the context of how it was utilized by Dr. Martin Luther King is his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop Speech.” Dr. King was familiar with that same road between Jerusalem to Jericho mentioned in the parable, a road that he knew to be very dangerous in the time of Jesus. Dr. King speculated in his speech that the Levite in the story did not stop because he was afraid, asking himself the question: “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But, the supreme knight added, the Samaritan asked a different question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?” Unlike the others, the Good Samaritan had the courage to act.
“You and I must ask the right question,” Supreme Knight Anderson told the attendees. “If we do not stop to help the future of Catholic health care, what will happen to the future of our Catholic institutions and to the future of the Catholic Church in America? You and I must have the courage to ask the difficult questions and then we too must have the courage to act.”
The Catholic Medical Association’s 81st Annual Education Conference was held Sept. 27-29 in St. Paul, Minn. The conference explored truths of the Catholic Church as they apply to the science and art of medicine.