TOKYO, June 13, 2013 /CNW/ - WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Leprosy
Elimination and Nippon Foundation Chairman Yohei Sasakawa has written
to Pope Francis, expressing his concern that the Pope's remark in a
recent speech that "Careerism is a leprosy" will reinforce
discrimination against people affected by leprosy and their families.
"In South America in particular, where there are many Catholics and
still quite a few people affected by leprosy, I believe what you said
will have had a big impact," Sasakawa wrote on June 13.
In the letter, in which he also acknowledges with gratitude the
Vatican's ongoing support for eliminating leprosy and leprosy-related
discrimination, he requests an audience with the Pope so that he can
update him on the fight against the disease.
In a speech on June 6 at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, which
trains future Vatican diplomats, Pope Francis warned against putting
personal ambition ahead of service to the Church, saying, "Careerism is
a leprosy, a leprosy." The full text of his speech is available on the
In January 2012, Sasakawa wrote to the producers and distributor of an
animated feature, "The Pirates! Band of Misfits," protesting over a
trailer for the film in which leprosy was portrayed in a discriminatory
light. The scene was subsequently modified.
SOURCE: Nippon Foundation
For further information:
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