Religions See Human Suffering As Mystery, Faith As Part Of Answer

February 11, 2010

Author: Sarah Delaney

Source: Catholic News Service

The fact that human beings must endure illness, grow old and experience pain in body and spirit is a mystery that all the major religious seek to understand, said speakers at a Vatican conference.

Representatives of various faiths who gathered at the Vatican Feb. 9 to discuss the nature of illness and the care of the sick also agreed that faith and spirituality help people find meaning in human suffering and that faith offers a comfort that physical or medical solutions cannot provide.

The approach to suffering and pain in the Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu and Islamic traditions was explored at a conference of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers. The meeting Feb. 9-11 celebrated the 25th anniversary of the founding of the council by Pope John Paul II in 1985 and his 1984 apostolic letter, "Salvifici Doloris," which addressed the complexities of human suffering.