Posts Tagged ‘Order of the Sisters of Mary’

The Contribution of Roman Catholic Medical Missions to Health Care in the Developing World

June 6, 2013

The Roman Catholic Church has come in for a great deal of criticism recently for the apparent impact of its doctrines on the health of the peoples of the developing world. The Church’s prohibition on contraception and its doctrine of sexual abstinence except within marriage have been attacked by its secular opponents. They have accused the policy of allowing the spread of STDs and AIDS, and for contributing to these nations’ problems of overpopulation. In fact several non-Roman Catholic researchers have pointed out that the Church’s doctrines in these areas are not to blame for the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Traditional African culture is strongly opposed to contraception, to the point where one joke states that they are the only things you can send through the post in West Africa that won’t be interfered with.

Irish Roman Catholic Opposition to President Reagan for his Support of Contras

It also needs to be pointed out that Roman Catholic charities are amongst the most active organisations working to combat disease and poverty in the Third World. Their members and supporters in the Developed World have criticised and denounced their leaders, when it has seemed that their policies have worked to harm and brutalise the very peoples for whom the charities work. When Ronald Reagan paid a state visit to Dublin in the 1980s, and went to speak at the University, many of the students at the great centre of learning boycotted the event, or led protests against him. The Irish were particularly involved with the Roman Catholic charities in the Third World, and particularly in South America. They were outraged at Reagan’s support for the Contra rebels in Nicaragua. The Sandanista government was an undemocratic dictatorship, and its supporters also committed atrocities. However, most of the atrocities in that terrible conflict were committed by the Contras. They were responsible for massacres and mutilation on a truly horrific scale. Reagan’s administration not only supported the Contras, the president himself went as far as to call them the moral equivalent of America’s Founding Fathers. The result was widespread anger, and the boycott and protests by Irish Roman Catholics.

Two Examples of Roman Catholic Medical Missions: The Order of the Sisters of Mary and the Medical Mission Sisters

Some idea of the size of the Roman Catholic contribution to medical care in the Third World can be gained from the statistics for the Order of the Sisters of Mary in 1967. This order was founded in Drogheda in 1939. By 1967 the Order had sent 41 doctors, two dentists, 15 sister-tutors and 159 nurses to the Developing World. The Order had treated 946,647 patients. 131,647 of these were maternity patients. A further 13,909 people were treated for leprosy. Fourteen years later in 1981 the Medical Mission Sisters, otherwise knkown as Anna Dergel’s Foundation, based in Rome had 697 doctors working in the Third World. The Church and its charities have clearly made an immense contribution to medical care in teh Developing World, a fact deliberately overlooked by its fashionable secular opponents.

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