Cardinal Gregory wins top prize for essay on health care inequalities revealed by pandemic – Catholic Standard

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Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, won first place at the 2021 Catholic Press Awards sponsored by the Catholic Media Association of the United States and Canada, for an essay he wrote on how the coronavirus pandemic has revealed the inequalities in health care affecting people. of color, the elderly and the poor.

Then Archbishop Gregory’s essay “Pandemic Healing Must Find the Courage to Address Inequities” appeared in August 2020 in Health advancements, the official journal of the Catholic Health Association of the United States. (In October 2020, Pope Francis appointed him cardinal.)

A contest judge hailed his essay as “thoughtful and timely work that really brought home to me the challenges we all face in understanding the lasting impact of this tragedy.”

The essay won first place in the “Best Essay – Professional and Specialty Magazines” category. Health advancements also won a first place award for “Magazine / Newsletter of the Year – National General Interest Magazines” and, commenting on this honor, the judges highlighted “a compelling issue examining advocacy and equity through public policy “.

In the essay, Cardinal Gregory wrote: “The impact of the coronavirus has provided even more compelling evidence of what was already widely known or at least commonly suspected – that there are vast inequalities within our society and of our social structures in terms of health, finance. and other shared opportunities. The medical statistics associated with this pandemic describe the disproportionate consequences of these inequalities on people of color, the poor and the elderly. “

The Archbishop of Washington wrote that in addition to providing its traditional healing services through medicine and treatment to those affected by the pandemic, the Catholic Church should also “aggressively urge our elected officials and officials to s ‘attack the reasons why this virus is so dangerously effective within particular segments of society. The church is forced to align itself with those who demand the reform of oppressive and neglectful social structures that make some people more vulnerable than others to this pandemic ”

He concluded the trial by writing, “This is indeed the path we must now take, in addition to the COVID-19 medical response. We must follow the path of those who suffer and challenge the social realities which intensify the suffering of particular segments of the population. It is the Catholic way of healing.

Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, speaks during an October 13, 2020 interview with the Catholic Standard, launching his Black Catholic Voices series. (Photo CS / Andrew Biraj)

In the Catholic standard online series “Black Catholic Voices” – which also received a first place at the 2021 Catholic Press Awards for “Best Multimedia Package Series,” asked Cardinal Gregory: “People of color – African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans – have been hit hardest by the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. What does this say about our country, and what should our country do about it? “

In response, Cardinal Gregory said: Well, I wrote an article for the Catholic Health Association publication a few months ago describing exactly that. The disparity in how this disease has impacted communities of color – Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanics, the poor. It is a lesson that we must still learn, that certain communities, certain segments of society, suffer the full brunt of this disease, which is disproportionate in relation to our number but because of the inequalities which are still very present in our world. However, I think it’s also a great opportunity for our country to rediscover our heritage of freedom, our American ingenuity, our need to care for each other in a much more aggressive way. I think that the recent encyclical of Pope Francis’Fratelli Tutti ‘ is a contextualization of what we have to do as Catholics but also as men and women of good will, as he addressed this encyclical saying that we are all called to see each other as brothers and sisters .


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