Pope Paul told delegates to a Catholic nursing congress that they were continuously in contact with 'sacred realities' which involved a child who is to be born or old people; victims of accidents or the sick or the physically or mentally handicapped.
In those realities, the Pope said, it was "always man who is involved and whose titles of nobility are written forever on
the first pages of the Bible: God created man in His image."
Receiving participants in the • 10th congress of the International Catholic Committee of Nurses and Medical-Social Assistants he stressed that the world needed an enthusiasm that was "both Christian and realistic."
He also told his visitors, who came from 59 countries, of their urgent need for "moral and spiritual convictions." Speaking in French, he also exhorted his listeners to ensure that this human concept of the ill and suffering be kept clearly in mind within the structures and health policies existing in their own countries.
"The hospital," he said, "must remain or become above all a human place, in which every person is treated with dignity, in which he experiences, notwithstanding suffering, the closeness of brothers, of sisters and of friends."
The Pope also stressed the need for Catholic organisations such as represented by those present in the audience to carry out their apostolic commitment in their professional area.
He concluded by recalling the "legitimate pride" that the Church had in the marvellous charity shown by the founders of religious orders dedicated to hospital work and in those who had continued this dedication to the world of suffering to the,present day.