Statements from the USCCB on Ministering to those with Special Needs:
- Pastoral Statement of U.S. Catholic Bishops on Persons with Disabilities
- The Catholic Church pursues its mission by furthering the spiritual, intellectual, moral and physical development of the people it serves. We call upon people of good will to reexamine their attitudes toward their disabled brothers and sisters and promote their well-being, acting with the sense of justice and compassion that the Lord so clearly desires. Parishes should maintain their own programs of ministry to persons with disabilities, and dioceses should make every effort to establish offices that coordinate this ministry and support parish efforts.
- Life Matters: Persons with Disabilities
- As persons with disabilities share their gifts and needs, they bring out the best in our mutual humanity. They challenge us to live the Gospel precepts of charity in the real world, to sacrifice some of our comfort for others, to take the time to enable them to be full members of society. They need to feel our solidarity with them, and to know their true dignity and worth as fellow sisters and brothers in Christ. Our own future with Christ depends on it.
- Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities
The Church recognizes that every parish community includes members with disabilities, and earnestly desires their active participation. All members of the Body of Christ are uniquely called by God by virtue of their Baptism. In light of this call, the Church seeks to support all in their growth in holiness, and to encourage all in their vocations. Participating in, and being nourished by, the grace of the sacraments is essential to this growth in holiness. Catholic adults and children with disabilities, and their families, earnestly desire full and meaningful participation in the sacramental life of the Church.