In the Aula Nervi at the Vatican, the Pope spoke to hundreds of scientists, doctors and patients who participated in a conference on rare illnesses.
Pope Francis asked them to help the sick not feel abandoned, to make sure researchers are ethically trained and for all patients to have access to medicines.
"These patients, in fact, often are not given enough attention because the idea of profit prevails over the value of human life. It is fundamentally important to promote greater empathy in society, so that nobody remains indifferent to our neighbor's cry for help, including when he or she is suffering from a rare disease.”
Rare diseases are those that affect less than five in 10,000 inhabitants. The World Health Organization estimates that there are about 7,000 rare diseases and that those affected equal seven percent of the world population.
Among participants was the Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, and other recognized faces like The Edge, U2's guitarist.
However, the Pope paid more attention to a group of children affected by rare diseases.