While tending bodies they influence the public mind
HE HOLY FATHER regards
the chemist as a power of the very first order for influencing the public mind in regard to the majority of present-day problems, for he is "in direct contact with the real life of the people, particularly in moments of stress, when feelings are more acute and relations more cordial."
This appears from a letter written by Mgr. Montini, Pro-Secretary of State, on behalf of the Holy Father, to the third International Congress of Catholic Chemists at Saragossa, where they are discussing "The Profession considered in the light of Christian Humanism."
Collaborating with the doctor in caring for human life, says Mgr. Montini, the chemist contributes to the conservation of one of the most precious of a man's possessions—his health.
The body which the chemist tends with medicines must rise again and has an eternal destiny. Herein lies the basic power and dignity of the profession from the great specialist laboratories to the small chemists' shops in rural areas.
Then, too, "other sacred interests are at stake"—the honour of the
patient and his family and the
doctor's reputation, which often
depends on the chemist's knowledge, ability and discretion.
As the Holy Father said in 1951, the responsibility of the chemist "also has a moral aspect on which the deviations and the disorders of the conscience today confer greater importance than ever before."
Safeguards against evil temptations, often coming from the customer himself, are to be found in Catholic moral teaching. a "serious deontological formation" to enlighten the chemist in the application of principle, and the honesty of his Christian conscience, "the Immediate judge and guide of his actions."
"The honesty of his actions, his Christian charity to his fellow-men, a cultural, religious and social formation in keeping with his university standing, will offer to the action of Providence in his person an instrument whose influence is beyond argument."