Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pope John Paul brought dignity to all who suffer, supreme knight says

By Sarah Delaney
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope John Paul II's humility and willingness to let the whole world watch his declining health gave dignity and meaning to suffering, said Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus.

"John Paul suffered boldly before millions," Anderson said at a Vatican conference on health care Feb. 9. "He was willing to have the humility to do this before the world.

"Through this, John Paul showed exactly what human dignity is all about," he said.

Anderson, leader of the worldwide Catholic fraternal organization, was one of the keynote speakers at the meeting sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers. The Feb. 9-11 gathering, titled "The Church in the Service of Love for the Suffering," marked the 25th anniversary of Pope John Paul establishing the council.

Anderson said Pope John Paul had preached the Gospel and evangelized "with every gift God had given him," including his acting and singing talents, his athletic abilities and his writing. "And as life went on, we saw him communicate the Gospel using what he also called 'a gift,' that is we saw him use his own suffering," Anderson said.

The late pope, who died April 2, 2005, was able to show that Christ is united with those who are suffering, because he himself suffered on the cross, Anderson said.


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