Pope John Paul II yesterday made public a message for the celebration the 9th World Day of the Sick, which will take place in Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral on 11 February next year.
    The theme of the day is: "New evangelisation and the dignity of suffering man."
    The Holy Father urged "that efforts be made to favour the necessary developments in health services in those countries - of which there are still many - that find it impossible to offer their inhabitants decorous living conditions and suitable healthcare".
    He said: "Furthermore, I trust that the great potential of modern medicine will be put at the effective service of man and applied in full respect of his dignity."
    He insisted that interest in "medical scientific research" must "always be guided by concern for delivering an effective service to the sick, giving them practical support in their struggle against illness. ... Clinical experimentation must be practiced in full respect of the person and with a clear awareness of its risks and, consequently, of its limits."
    At the end of his message, the Pope asked both the sick and health care professionals to proclaim and give witness to "the Gospel of life and hope, with generous willingness [to] announce that Christ is the consolation of all those who live in torment and difficulties. He is strength for those who are passing through moments of fatigue and vulnerability. He is support for those who work passionately to ensure better living and health conditions for everyone."
Lismore Diocese Media
31 Aug 00

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