Read Pope Francis’ message to the Participants in the Symposium “Towards a Narrative of Hope: An International Interfaith Symposium on Palliative Care,” Toronto, 21-23 May 2024.

“All who experience the uncertainties so often brought about by sickness and death need the witness of hope provided by those who care for them and who remain at their side.”

The first International Interfaith Symposium on Palliative Care, jointly sponsored by the Pontifical Academy for Life and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, took place in Toronto on May 21-23, 2024. The Symposium affirmed that hope, its central theme, is always possible, even in life’s most challenging moments.

In a written message, His Holiness Pope Francis warmly encouraged symposium participants to persevere in their commitment to promoting palliative care:

Dear friends,
I encourage all of you in your efforts to advance palliative care for the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters.
May your discussions and deliberations in these days help you to persevere in love, give hope to those at the end of life and further the building of a more just and fraternal society.

– Pope Francis, from Saint John Lateran, Rome

A working group is now tasked with collating the participants’ key recommendations, focusing on five areas: advocacy for palliative care, community engagement and support, education, integrating the cultural dimension into palliative care, and palliative care policy and legislation.

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