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Pope Benedict and Suffering

Matthew Harrison

Monday, August 25, 2008

It’s been a couple weeks since Pope Benedict has returned from his vacation, but Zenit recently published a question and answer session between the Holy Father and the Clergy of Bressanone.
One exchange that caught my eye was a question by a priest who was suffering from multiple sclerosis. Impressed by the struggle that Pope John Paul II experienced in his final years, the 42-year old priest asked Pope Benedict what kind of advice he had for sick and suffering priests.
The Holy Father spoke of JPII’s Pontificate in two stages – a period in which he was a “giant of the faith” and a period in which he experienced his "passion." The Pope then spoke more generally on suffering. Using the example of a Cardinal's sister, he acknowledged that sometimes "offering up the suffering" is easier said than done, but emphasized that suffering need not be in vain. He also encouraged the faithful to help alleviate the pain that those experience -- to love them, to be Christ to them.
To read the response in its entirety, click HERE. It’s the second question in the transcription.
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