For the first time ever, a Catholic church leader from Iowa has been appointed by the Pope to a special advisory council. Bishop Joseph Charron of the Des Moines diocese has been named to the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers. He’s the only American bishop on the 36-member panel, which will advise the Vatican on health care worker-related issues. Charron says it’ll likely mean at least one trip to Rome a year. He says Pope John Paul the Second has several panels that help him deal with a variety of issues. He says this particular panel involves the health and care of health care workers around the world. Bishop Charron has a doctorate in medical ethics and says he’s honored to get the five-year appointment to -quote- “show the care of the church for the sick by helping those who minister to the sick and suffering.” He’ll remain the Bishop in Des Moines. He says there will be a learning curve despite his background in medical ethics. Charron says he’s met Pope John Paul on several occasions. Charron says the Pope always remembers his visit to Des Moines whenever Charron mentions he’s from Des Moines.The Pope visited Iowa in October of 1979.
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