1st Message of the new president of FIAMC

“Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I would like to thank all of you for it is indeed a great
honor to be elected as the President of FIAMC.
Thank you for your trust in me but I feel totally
inadequate for the task in hand. However I am
comforted by the thought that Jesus chose an
ignorant fisherman rather than a learned rabbi to lead
the Church. The phrase “Be not afraid” which Pope
John Paul uttered at his election to the papacy echo in
my mind alleviating some of my apprehension.
The role of FIAMC in today increasingly secular
society in becoming more and more important. We,
the Catholic doctors are probably one of the last line
of defence against the strident anti-family and antilife
forces, or what St Pope John Paul II called the
“Culture of Death” which he prophesied would
afflict society.
Perhaps it is providential that I should brig my term of
office with a pilgrimage to Turkey in the footsteps of
St. Paul the indefatigable missionary. I promise to
pray for each and every one of you and in return I
hope that you will pray for me and all the officials of
FIAMC.
I am grateful to Dr Jose Simon, the immediate Past
President and the Secretary General Dr Ermanno
Pavesi for agreeing to assume most of the ceremonial
functions especially in Rome which I would find
difficulty attending because of the geographical
distance and language barriers.
This would free me to concentrate on what I consider to
be the most important task facing FIAMC which is to
continue developing FIAMC into a truly international
family and to help individual especially the younger
members and medical students grow spiritually and
be formed as Catholic doctors. I have established a
committee to be lead by one of the pillars of FIAMC
Dr Kevin Murrell comprising of young doctors from
every continent. The committee has already met and
have thrown up several interesting suggestions. The
Asian Federation at its EXCO meeting at the 24th
FIAMC Congress has also enthusiastically embraced
the formation of the younger doctors and is
considering organizing a parallel Congress for
younger members and medical students.
I have also discussed with Dr Robert Walley the
institutionalization of Matercare International as the
obstetric and gynaecological wing of FIAMC and
tasked him to set up a committee to crystallize how
FIAMC as an organization can promote motherhood
and protect life from the very beginning. Together
with Dr Elvis Seman and Dr Chazan he has promised
to submit his recommendations soon. In the
meantime to demonstrated your support for the
dignity of human life I urged every one of you to
sign the Declaration of Faith which can be found on
the Matercare website (www.matercare.org).

This important document declares our belief that life
begins from the moment of conception. At a meeting
of the Presidency with Dr Jose Simon, we have also
agreed to set up a Bioethics Committee which will
invite experts on various issues like contraception,
lesbian gay rights, abortion to set up task for to
develop position papers and gather supporting
studies so that any member organisations facing
these issues to use as resource material. We will also
be setting up a Missions Committee to support the
development of mission work as an expression of our
Faith in Action
The Presidency will also work to expand the
membership of FIAMC from its present membership
of 78 countries. At present some EXCO members are
tasked with developing Catholic Medical Guilds in
countries like Cambodia, Papua New Guinea and the
Solomon Islands.
All these projects will necessitate upgrading of
communications between member organisations and
FIAMC through the social media like internet, face
book, blog sites etc.
The task of developing FIAMC as an effective
international voice for the Church cannot be the
responsibility of the FIAMC EXCO alone and is the
duty of every Catholic doctor. No contribution is too
small or meaningless. As blessed Mother Teresa said,
“we may feel that what we are doing is just a drop in
the ocean but the ocean will be less because of that
missing drop”. If you wish to contribute in any role
or have any ideas or suggestions please write in to the
FIAMC secretariat. I promise you that we will take
your offer of help and suggestions seriously.
I implore each one of you to be the salt of the earth and
not to just file away the resolutions of the Manila
Congress until we meet again in 4 years time.
I would like to thank the previous EXCO especially Dr
Jose for their services to FIAMC and their continued
guidance. A special note of thanks to Cardinal
Oswald Gracias for making the tremendous effort
inspite of his busy schedule to spend time with us
and for his support of FIAMC. We are inspired by
the encouragement from our beloved Pope Francis in
his message to us on the occasion of the 24th
FIAMC Congress. I would also like to thank the
organizers of the Manila Congress for fantastic job
which they have done at short notice and their warm
hospitality. I don’t think that any of the participants
will forget this Congress. Most importantly I would
like to thank God our almighty Father for all His
providence and pray for His continuous blessing
upon all of you. May our blessed Mother Mary
protect you and the Holy Spirit guide you in your
effort to be a true Catholic Physician. Thank you and
God bless.
John Lee”