Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Pope Releases Messages for World Day of the Sick

Vatican Information Service (VIS) reports that the Pope today made public his statement regarding the World Day of the Sick, coming up on February 11. The Pope's special message for the Day is "Christ: Hope for Africa." Celebrations for the day will take place at the Shrine of Our Lady, Queen of Apostles in Cameroon.

In the message, dated September 8, the Pope says that the conflicts in many countiries of Africa "make intervention to prevent and cure the diseases that devastate the continent very difficult."

He further wrote, "I encourage those who are able to dedicate themselves to stopping these tragedies. I remind those responsible for selling arms of what I have written: 'Those who perpetuate the wars in Africa through arms trafficking are accomplices to hateful crimes against humanity'... The celebration of the World Day of the Sick offers us all the possibility to understand better the importance of pastoral health care... It is precisely in the moment of illness that one urgently needs to find appropriate answers to the deepest questions regarding man's life: questions on the meaning of pain, suffering and death, considered not only as a mystery which must be confronted with strength but as a mystery in which Christ incorporates our life to Him."

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