Pontifical Biblical Commission explores what the Bible says about suffering and sickness

The Pontifical Biblical Commission, a group of 20 biblical scholars chosen by Pope Francis from five continents, met recently in Rome to consider the topic ‘Suffering and Sickness in the Bible’. The Commission is currently working on the subject with a document scheduled for completion in 2027. The Commission members met with Pope Francis during their week together. Among them was Fr Adrian Graffy, parish priest at Gidea Park and a member of the the Pontifical Biblical Commission since 2014.

Fr Adrian with Pope Francis (Vatican Media)

Speaking to the Commission in the Consistory Hall in the Vatican, Pope Francis described the topic chosen as ‘existential’, touching every human being. Sickness and suffering must always be treated in a way worthy of human beings. Jesus teaches us to face suffering through his own compassion and with inclusivity. He does not lecture us about suffering, but bows down to touch those who suffer. The Commission has the task of helping “to satisfy the thirst of the People of God with the fresh waters of the Spirit”.

Fr Adrian commented: “Pope Francis has constantly demonstrated his concern that the Church should reach out to all those who suffer, whether from the cruelty of others, or from the limitations of the human condition. He has given the Commission a delicate task, to speak about human suffering in a way which respects both the truth of God and the pain of human beings.”