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  • » 11/12/2012, 00.00


    Pope: Societies are judged by how they treat the elderly, who are an asset for young people

    On a visit to a home for the elderly, Benedict XVI speaks of "our age" as "a blessing." "It 's nice to be elders." Society often considers those getting on in years "non-productive" and therefore "useless". More efforts are needed in households and public institutions. A phase of life that is "a gift" for deepening our relationship with God

    Rome (AsiaNews) - The "quality" of a society, "of a civilization is judged by how well older people are treated" and old age should not be lived in regret, because it is a gift of God as is the need to enlist the help of others "because it is a grace to be supported and accompanied."

    Benedict XVI spoke of "our age" and "infirmities" this morning during his visit to the Community of Sant'Egidio home for the elderly on the Janiculum, Rome, on the occasion of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations.

    Welcomed and surrounded by his "peers" the Pope spoke to them of the "veil of sadness" and "sometimes" covers the eyes of those who are getting on in years and are nostalgic for "when you were young and enjoyed fresh energy making plans for the future. " Instead, "it's nice to be elders" to have "the gift of a long life" which in the Bible "is considered a blessing from God." And "life is beautiful even at our age, despite 'ailments' and limitations. May our faces always express the joy of feeling loved by God, never sadness".

    But today, "often society, dominated by the logic of efficiency and profit, does not accept it as such, and indeed often rejects it, considering older people as unproductive, useless. Many times you hear the suffering of those who are marginalized and living far from home or in solitude. I think there should be a greater commitment, starting from families and public institutions, to ensure that older people can stay in their homes. The wisdom of life which they bear is a great wealth. The quality of a society, I would say of a civilization, is judged by how well older people are treated and the place reserved for them in community life. Whoever makes room for the elderly makes room for life! Whoever welcomes the elderly welcomes life! ".

    Because, even "when life becomes fragile, in old age, it never loses its value and dignity, each one of us, at any stage of existence, is wanted, loved by God, everyone is important and necessary" .

    Citing the current European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, the Pope said that "the elderly are a value to society, especially for young people. There can be no true human growth and education without a fertile contact with the elderly, because their very existence is like an open book in which the younger generation can find valuable guidance for life's journey".

    "This phase of life - said Benedict XVI as he bid farewell - is also a gift to deepen our relationship with God.  The example of Blessed John Paul II was and still is enlightening for everyone. Do not forget that among the valuable resources that you have is the essence of prayer: become intercessors with God, praying with faith and constancy. Pray for the Church, for me, for the needs of the world, for the poor, so that there may be no more in the world. The prayer of the elderly can protect the world, perhaps helping it in a more incisive way than the toil of many. Today I would like to entrust to your prayers the good of the Church and world peace. "

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    See also

    28/09/2014 VATICAN
    Pope: "There is no future for people" without inter-generational encounter, when elderly are “discarded”
    Pope Benedict XVI, "the wise grandfather in the home” attends "The blessing of long life" event. "How often we discard the elderly with an attitude of abandonment that is real and concrete euthanasia". "Homes for the elderly are great ... as long as they are truly homes, not prisons!" The testimony of two elderly people who fled Iraqi Kurdistan: "abuse of the elderly is inhuman, just as it is of children."

    26/11/2014 KOREA - VATICAN
    Special trains, the way of the martyrs and youth centers: the fruits of the Pope's visit to Korea
    The bishop of the Diocese of Daejeon, where Francis attended the Asian Youth Day in August, handed the Pope a list of "small works" born spontaneously due to its trip. The national railway company has decided to donate the ticket price of the seat used by the pope to charity, while the state has declared the Solmoe Shrine a "National Treasure".

    21/01/2011 VATICAN
    Pope: conscience does not mean a la carte morality, but seeking the truth
    In today's world there is "a sense of insecurity, primarily due to social and economic instability, exacerbated by a weakening of the perception of ethical principles that underpin the law and personal moral attitudes, which give strength to the rules that govern society".

    06/08/2014 KOREA - VATICAN
    Not only Sewol: the Pope will meet with Korean society’s "most vulnerable"
    Meeting confirmed by Msgr. Peter Kang U-il, Bishop of Cheju and President of the Korean Bishops' Conference: "Residents of Gangjeong Village and Miryang, family members of victims in the 2009 Yongsan tragedy, and dismissed Sangyong Motor workers will be attending Mass with Pope Francis on Aug. 18. It is a sign of Francis’ love for those who suffer, and will give an important message to our society".

    19/08/2014 KOREA - VATICAN - AYD
    The Pope, example of compassion and consolation for Korean society
    Not just Catholics, but all South Koreans are carefully analyzing the messages of Francis in his four-day visit to the peninsula. Closeness to those who suffer, reunification through the conversion of hearts, the power of the Cross of Christ are arousing debate on the front pages the day after the pontiff’s departure. The only public protest, small in size, was staged by Protestants who "now fear to losing importance and faithful".

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