Church to Celebrate Its Love for the Suffering

Pontifical Council Marks Anniversaries With 3-Day Conference

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ROME, JAN. 28, 2010 ( A three-day conference and an art exhibit will mark the 18th World Day of the Sick and the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry.

«The Church in the Service of Love for the Suffering» will be held Feb. 9-11 in Rome.

The World Day of the Sick is Feb. 11, feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

An art exhibit by Francesco Guadagnuolo is part of the event, as is a classical music concert.

The 28-piece art exhibit uses various techniques and focuses on Pope John Paul II and his relation to suffering.

«The exhibition of paintings is meant to be a cultural artistic corollary to the religious celebrations programmed for the dicastery’s 25th anniversary,» explained Monsignor José Redrado, secretary of the council.

The three days of conferences will give participants a look at themes ranging from pain and suffering from the point of view of Judaism, Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism; to pain and suffering in African and Asian cultures.

The conclusion of the 25th anniversary year of John Paul II’s 1984 apostolic letter «Salvifici Doloris» will also be marked at the conference. Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, will consider biblical foundations and a theological-pastoral reading of the document.

Participants will also consider fruits from nearly two decades of World Days of the Sick, with contributors from Mexico, Ivory Coast, Poland, Korea and other places.

Various representatives from the world of health care professionals will speak, as will Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, on «The Meaning of the Suffering of John Paul II for the Church and the World»; and Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica, on «Do Pain and Suffering Have Meaning for Contemporary Man?»

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