“On the one hand, your many services contribute to shaping in people and in families a style of prevention: or rather, it promotes a mentality that oncological prevention is above all a lifestyle. At the same time, along with the very many and diverse situations in Italy,” he added, “you nurture voluntary work, an emblematic expression of that gratuity that should increasingly have an impact on our daily life.
Need to Spread Culture of Life
Noting their work helps raise awareness and contribute to proper formation, he said: There is a great need to spread a culture of life, made up of attitudes and behaviors.
More specifically, Francis advised, families need to be accompanied on a path of prevention: “a path that involves the different generations in a fraternal ‘pact’, a path that values the experience of those who have lived, along with their relatives, the arduous path of oncological pathology.”
In the league’s service, the Holy Father observed, there is also a continuous decentralization towards the peripheries.
“Indeed, ‘periphery,'” Francis explained, “refers to every man and woman who lives in a condition of marginalization; the periphery is every person confined to the margins of society and relationships, especially when disease infringes upon the usual rhythms of life, as is the case with oncological pathologies.”
“It is the periphery that calls to the responsibility of each one of us, since every Christian, along with the many inspired by the desire for truth and goodness, constitutes a conscious instrument of grace.”
Inestimable Wealth for Society
“Caring for others, as witnessed in everyday life with many people who are sick,” the Pope underscored, “is an inestimable wealth for society: it reminds the entire civil and ecclesial community not to be afraid of closeness, not to be afraid of tenderness, not to be afraid of “spending time” with bonds that offer and welcome mutual support and comfort, spaces for authentic rather than formal solidarity.”
Emphasizing that health is a primary and fundamental common good for every person, Francis reiterated his hope that oncological prevention be extended to all, thanks to collaboration between public and private services, civil and charitable initiatives.
In this way, he noted, their specific contribution, in this sector, can help try “to ensure that our societies become ever more inclusive.”
Pope Francis concluded, offering his blessing and entrusting their efforts and those of all their volunteers, along with all the sick people they encounter, to the maternal protection of Mary Most Holy, Salus infirmorum.
On ZENIT’s Web page:
Full Text: https://zenit.org/articles/popes-address-to-italian-league-for-fight-against-tumors/