Pope Francis greets singer Katy Perry, accompanied by English actor Orlando Bloom, during an audience with people participating in the "United to Cure Conference" at the Vatican April 28. Hundreds of physicians, researchers and health care executives attended the April 26-28 conference to talk about medical advances and steps to promote health-care around the world. CNS photo/Vatican Media

Even amid suffering, love highlights value of every life, Pope says

  • April 30, 2018
VATICAN – Love is a miraculous force that helps the parents of sick children focus on the beauty of their children's lives and keeps the flame of hope for a cure alive, Pope Francis told an Italian couple and a group of their supporters.

Members of the group, known as "
, the British toddler who had died just a few hours earlier after months of court battles between his parents and the doctors caring for him. But he told participants, "The problem of human suffering challenges us to create new means of interaction between individuals and institutions, breaking down barriers and working together to enhance patient care."

Throughout the conference, physicians and researchers insisted on the importance of disease prevention, particularly through lifestyle choices, especially highlighting the dangers of smoking and obesity, but also looking at the role environmental degradation plays in causing disease.

"Prevention involves taking a farsighted look at human beings and the environment in which we live," the Pope said. "It means aiming for a culture of balance, whose essential factors -- education, physical activity, diet, the protection of the environment, respect for the 'health codes' practiced by the various religions, timely and precise diagnosis and so many others -- can help us to live better, with fewer health risks."

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