Vatican City (Fides Service) – Some 600 participants, health experts, cardinals, bishops and laity gathered in the New Synod Hall in the Vatican for the 18th International Conference organised by Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Health Workers and the Sick this morning 13 November which this years discusses the topic of “Depression” a major emerging sicknesses.
The opening address was given by Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan President of the Pontifical Council who greeted the participants and said that one of the tasks given to the Council by Pope John Paul II was to reflect on emerging illnesses and that depression is not to be confused with a state of mind.
“First of all – said Cardinal Barragan – we will examine the present situation of depression in the world today. Then we will examine the history of depression, depression and Christian hope, the rejection of suffering and the search for personal well being, the meaning of depression and evil considered from the points of view Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, which are the world’s most widespread religions. We will conclude a third part on what to do, drawing from these themes: the principle points of the faith to be highlighted, privileging education in the sense of the person, responsibility and self esteem in the light of Christianity. Lastly, the President concluded – the objective will be Pastoral Care of Christian hope and confidence in life ”.
Then the Cardinal introduced the opening prolusion by Cardinal Saraiva Martins, Prefect of the Congregation for Saints, who spoke on: “Depression: Biblical anthropology and Christian faith”. (AP) (13/11/2003 Fides Service; lines:26 words:300)