26 April 1986

To the participants in the International Congress on Cancer and Hormones

On Saturday, 26 April the Pope gave a brief address to the International Congress on Cancer and Hormones in the Paul VI Hall.

Dear Friends,

I greet most cordially the participants in the International Congress on Cancer and Hormones.  You have gathered at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart during these days for the purpose of deepening your understanding of endocrinology and malignancy.  In this way, you hope to improve the therapeutic treatment which you are able to offer to your patients.  I am pleased that you have wished to include this audience in the programme of your Congress.  For it offers me the opportunity to express my great esteem for you and your colleagues in the medical profession and to assure you of my encouragement and support in your efforts to care ever more effectively for those who suffer from cancer.

Your presence here today also speaks of your awareness of the important ethical and religious dimensions of medical research and practice.  The medical profession exerts a great impact on the quality of life of the human family.  Every advance which you make is aimed at promoting human well-being and thus has moral and humanitarian implications.  In the course of your research and practice, it is inevitable that difficult ethical questions should arise, questions which do not lend themselves to quick and easy solutions.  As you face these, I assure you of the Church’s desire to listen to you and learn from your medical expertise and experience, and, at the same time, to share with you her own rich heritage of ethical teaching.  Such dialogue becomes increasingly important as scientific advancement brings about an ever larger number of specialized areas of research.  It can ensure that such research will only contribute to the welfare of the person as a whole and to the integral development of society.

May the Lord of life give you strength and courage in all your worthy endeavours, and may he bless you and your families with his joy and peace.

John Paul II