ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II
Saturday, 2 June 1984
I am pleased to welcome you today as the representatives of the American Cancer Society. I am acquainted with the aims and objectives of your association and I wish to express my esteem and deep appreciation of your work. The fight to alleviate physical pain and suffering deserves the support of all people of good will, but it has special importance for those of us who are Christians, whose Gospel of love exhorts us to be compassionate as our heavenly Father is compassionate.
One of the most intense forms of suffering that the human person, on the psychological level, can experience is derived from the temptation to give up hope: hope in an eventual or possible cure, hope in one’s own capacity to overcome a specific illness, hope in the possibility of returning to a normally happy and productive life. Your Society’s worldwide struggle against cancer offers immense hope to thousands of men, women and children around the world. By sponsoring scientific research into the causes and cures of this dreaded disease, as well as in promoting public campaigns of information and education aimed at early detection and treatment, you offer the promise of a brighter future to those who know from personal experience the many frustrations and conflicts which arise from human suffering.
May your humanitarian efforts on behalf of our suffering brothers and sisters be crowned with success. And may God reward your compassion and concern for others with his divine gifts of peace and joy.
God bless you all.
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