Catholic World News

Ancient fears of leprosy are no longer valid: Vatican statement

January 29, 2016

In a message for the 63rd World Leprosy Day, the Pontifical Council for Health Care argues that the ancient fear of the disease and its victims “today no longer has any reason to exist.”

The Vatican message, signed by Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, recognizes World Leprosy Day as “an opportunity to continue with the fight against this terrible infection, as well as to weaken the ostracism that often burdens the people who carry its unmistakable signs.” At one time the shunning of leprosy victims was due to “a natural sense of self-defense” against a disease that was considered incurable, the message notes. But that is no longer the case.

Archbishop Zimowski announced that the Pontifical Council for Health Care will hold study days at the Vatican on June 10 and 11 to discuss care for lepers, in conjunction with the Jubilee for the Sick and Disabled.

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