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Vatican message for autism awareness day

Catholic World News - April 03, 2013

Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, the president of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, has issued a message on the occasion of World Autism Awareness Day.

“Faced with the problems and the difficulties that these children and their parents encounter, the Church with humility proposes the way of service to the suffering brother, accompanying him with compassion and tenderness on his tortuous human and psycho-relational journey, and taking advantage of the help of parishes, of associations, of Church movements and of men and women of good will,” he wrote.

“There should never fail to be global care for the ‘frail’ person, as a person with autism can be: this takes concrete form with that sense of nearness that every worker, each according to his or her role, must know how to transmit to the sick person and his or her family, not making that person feel a number but making real the situation of a shared journey that is made up of deeds, of attitudes and of words – perhaps not dramatic ones but ones that suggest a daily life that is nearer to normality,” he continued.

Quoting Blessed John Paul II, he added:

The quality of life in a community is measured largely by its commitment to assist the weaker and needier members with respect for their dignity as men and women. The world of rights cannot only be the prerogative of the healthy. People with disabilities must also be enabled to participate in social life as far as they can, and helped to fulfill all their physical, psychological and spiritual potential. Only by recognizing the rights of its weakest members can a society claim to be founded on law and justice.

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