"Open Church" (V episode) - The state of emergency in the current health care ministry: the work of chaplains in hospitals during this pandemic coronavirus

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"CHURCH OPEN» (V episode) - PASTORAL CARE IN THE CURRENT STATE EMERGENCY: THE WORKING CAPPELLANI HOSPITALS DURING THIS FROM PANDEMIC CORONAVIRUS

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We offer our readers this third precious videos of our esteemed brother John Zanchi, priest of the Diocese of Arezzo, so that it can also serve as an effective and wise antidote to all those who unfortunately, at this time of extraordinary crisis and emergency, They have nothing better to do than argue, often in harsh and aggressive tone, against decisions taken by our bishops for safety reasons to protect public health: suspend the sacred celebrations and in many cases close the churches. Recall that the Church, during crises and emergencies, It has never been saved by the controversy of those who stand for all time the most faithful among the faithful or to the purest of the pure, but the unit. Someone has written these days that "the bishops are committing suicide the Italian Church". Unfortunately he did not understand anything of the essence of the Catholic faith: The Church “If suicide” attacking the bishops, instead follow them and support them in a moment of so severe test.

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VIDEO SHOOTING AND ASSEMBLY BY THE ISSUER TELESANDOMENICO (AREZZO)

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TEXT OF THE VIDEO

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The texts of Father John Zanchi, director of the Pastoral Center Divine Worship of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arezzo-Cortona-Sansepolcro, They are not meant as articles but as audio-narrative texts. We proceeded to transcribe audio text for our Readers.

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John Zanchi

Welcome to the fifth episode of Open Church!

In these difficult days Our churches in Italy, made of stones and bricks remain open, as a sign of the Church that remains present and active in the midst of our people (cf Tuscan Episcopal Conference, 14 March 2020); churches remain open, even if no public celebrations take place. Among the churches open there are also internal ones to the hospitals, officiated by hospital chaplains. These priests, together with their collaborators - often volunteers - they have always ensured an indispensable ministry in the places where disease is treated and death is fought; I am the maternal face of the Church which advises, teaches, warns, console, forgives, Please.

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I just pronounced verbs echo the works of spiritual mercy: counsel the doubtful, teach the ignorant, admonish sinners, console the afflicted, forgive offenses, pray to God for the living and the dead. Towards the sick, the commitment of the hospital staff is in some respects similar to the works of corporal mercy.

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In Hospital, next door and together with those who strives for the care of body and mind, There are Chaplains and their collaborators, who devote themselves to the care of the soul immortal. Their mission, more precious, It is particularly important in this time of epidemic, which it is even more urgent to fulfill Jesus' command, synthesized by the Church in the sixth work of corporal mercy: "I was sick and you visited me ... whenever you did this to the least of these my brethren, you did it to me " (Mt 25, 35. 40).

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The work of hospital chaplains reminds all that Hospitals are a Christian invention! The presence and work of hospital chaplains are challenging and even difficult in normal circumstances: not always the sufferers are available to seek the help of God; materialist and scientistic prejudice that corrupts our society devalues ​​the spiritual life and its need; secularism claims to deny the social value of faith and its public expression.

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The presence and work of Chaplains Hospitals are even more demanding and difficult in this dramatic moment, especially in crowded wards infected with the coronavirus: not only for the grueling pace to which are subject all those working in hospitals; not only for the management of clinical urgency and the defense protocols by limiting the possibilities of contagion linger at the bedside of the sick; the presence and the work of hospital chaplains are even more demanding and difficult because of the fact they can not approach the most seriously ill, even those in danger of death. Many of them die unfortunately only, without the comfort of the sacraments and the proximity of loved ones.

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For the conscience of a priest this is a fact very hard to bear! A Cremona Hospital doctor these days declared: "Slowly all these deaths kill us well. More days pass the more I wonder if they are still able to cure people, if my presence here still makes sense '.

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On the spiritual level these words hint at the inner struggle which also can be exposed the priests who carry out their ministry in hospitals in which you deal with the health emergency directly.

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What do chaplains in those hospitals, what are their spiritual weapons in the war against Covid-19? First, they celebrate the Holy Mass in the churches attached to the health resorts, interfering with i malati, the doctors, staff, volunteers, i moribondi, the dead and the families of all these; sometimes for the departments sick you can watch via a television link. Then the Chaplains and their collaborators assist the less seriously ill with the solace of prayer, Sacraments, of spiritual direction. So Chaplains spiritually support the hospital staff, subjected to a superhuman effort.

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We listen to the testimony of a priest missionary in a large hospital in Milan: "My day job right now is primarily to support the doctors … we always do two hours of Eucharistic adoration in church. So people can come in dribs and drabs, and pray a little '. Even the sick who can not come to know that the chapel there is always someone praying for them and remembers them. Although we can not reach patients, they know that we have not abandoned " (Father Giovanni Musazzi, Hospital "Luigi Sacco", Milan).

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Together with the medical staff, Also hospital chaplains and their collaborators are our heroes, committed unsparing of himself on the front of the battle to defeat the great evil epidemic. Medical personnel rightly many people are reaching statements of solidarity and encouragement; Also to hospital chaplains and their collaborators must go public support and public recognition, because our society urgently needs to rediscover the spiritual value of the disease: if the man can not find a meaning to their suffering and their own death, then you can not even find out a way to live in their own health.

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The hospital chaplains and their employees are the face of the Church which remains open, indeed wide open, even in these calamitous times. Whether in open churches made of stone and brick, both in house churches that are our families, these days there rise up the fervent prayer of supplication and intercession for God's ministers working in hospitals and their collaborators, that the Lord will protect them from infection and help them to perform their essential spiritual ministry.

A resent tomorrow for a new installment of Open Church.

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Sansepolcro (Arezzo), 18 March 2020

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