The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 23, Issue 1, Spring 2023

William Hubbard
Pages 57-68

The Preferential Option for the Poor and Participation
A Challenge for Catholic Health Care

Catholic health care has long been focused on the needs of the poor, yet its primary interaction with the poor is in the delivery of health care and not within leadership. The preferential option for the poor is one tool that leads to greater participation. Especially important is the hermeneutic element that Pope Francis emphasizes. While some government programs already include those who are poor in leadership, Catholic health care is only starting to grapple with the Pope’s challenge. This essay explores inclusion of the poor in governance and strategic planning, revealing a better way to engage with those who are poor and give a better witness to the Gospel mandate for Catholic health care.