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Rome Reports

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Pope: Abandonment is the most serious ailment for the elderly

For the second time this week, Pope Francis reflected on caring for the elderly. It happened during an audience with the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life.  First, he highlighted the need for the elderly to be cared for by their families. Because the love of  family, he explained, cannot be replaced by anyone, not even the best doctors.  POPE FRANCIS "People will always be precious beings, despite being afflicted by old age and illnesses. People are in fact, a natural treasure for themselves and others. They are loved by God.â?  The most serious disease, he continued, and the greatest injustice that an elderly person can experience is abandonment. Especially since their children, owe them so much.  POPE FRANCIS "That's why when someone's life becomes fragile, as the end of this earthly existence approaches, we feel the responsibility of helping and accompanying that person in the best way possible.â?  Unfortunately though, the mentality of profit and productivity sometimes trumps that of solidarity. It's something that's not only seen in society, but often times in families. It follows the same theme he highlighted during his weekly general audience, where he said that a society that doesn't have room for its elderly, carries with it, the 'virus of death.' Among those in attendance was the wife of late French Dr. Jereome Lejeune. He discovered Down Syndrome and throughout his career was a staunch defender of life.  JRB/KLH  CTV VM -BN Up:JRB #Pope