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Pope's Weekly General Audience: Respect the elderly. Learn from them, care for them

2015-03-04

(-ONLY VIDEO-) In his weekly general audience, Pope Francis reflected on the need to respect the elderly. In a culture that's fixated on youth, efficiency and productivity, the Pope said older generations should not be forgotten or set aside. Quoting the Bible, the Pope said, the elderly are not a burden, but rather a 'storehouse of wisdom.' 

SUMMARY OF CATECHESIS: 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 

In our catechesis on the family, we now reflect on the importance of the elderly.  Nowadays people tend to live longer, yet often our societies not only fail to make room for the elderly, but even consider them a burden.  The quality of a society can be judged by the way it includes its older members. 

This is a particular challenge for our Western societies, marked on the one hand by aging populations and on the other by a cult of youth, efficiency and profit which tends to discard everything not considered productive or useful.  
Because of their vulnerability and their special needs, our elderly, above all those who are alone or ill, call for particular attention and care. Rather than a burden, they are, as the Bible tells us, a storehouse of wisdom (Sir 8:9).  The Church has always accompanied the elderly with gratitude and affection, making them feel accepted and fully a part of the community.  Without such solidarity between generations, the life of society is impoverished.  In showing concern for our elderly, we strengthen the social fabric and ensure the future of our young.

Speaker: I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, including those from Great Britain, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Japan, Korea and the United States of America.  Upon you and your families I cordially invoke joy and peace in the Lord Jesus.  God bless you all!


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