Archbishop: The Deaf Have a Place in the Church


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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 7, 2010 ( Within the Church, there is a special call for the pastoral care of the deaf, says the president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry.

Arcbishop Zygmunt Zimowski said this over the weekend at the conference organized by his dicastery titled, "Ephphata, the Deaf Person, Herald and Witness of the Proclamation of the Gospel."

The event ended Sunday. Last November, a similar event was held titled "Ephphata, the Deaf Person in the Life of the Church."

The president said the deaf "can always contribute more to pull down the walls behind which a more serious spiritual deafness is fortified," and that it's necessary to promote the access of deaf persons to religious practice, "at the local and universal level."

One of the objectives of the conference was to design "ideal strategies and instruments for the improvement and promotion of the pastoral care of the deaf, and the concept of ecclesial and social integration of the deaf in Italy and Europe as well as in the whole world."

The prelate pointed out that it is important that Christians "recall the mandate received at baptism and work for the diffusion of the Gospel through personal commitment and witness, becoming true 'heralds and witnesses,' even if they cannot hear or are close to persons affected by deafness."

"Thus, we will be involved in a 'laboratory' or better still, an 'office,' where our technical and scientific competencies will optimize the strategies that have already been delineated and finalize the necessary instrumentation," said Archbishop Zimowski.