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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis urges local churches to promote the “ministry of the elderly”

Pope Francis used a cane to enter the Paul VI Audience Hall. He picked up his series of catechesis right where he left off before his trip to Canada, speaking on the value of old age and the elderly.

Old age is a promising time to offer the moving and joyful witness of waiting. The elderly person is in a state of waiting, waiting for a meeting.
What is the life's destination? A place at the table of God, in God's world.

Pope Francis says that an old age that is discouraged over missed opportunities brings hopelessness to oneself and society, whereas an old age which is lived with gentleness and a respect for life erodes the temptation for worldliness.

To that end, the Pope asked that local churches promote the ministry of the elderly, which is to hopefully wait to be united with God after their earthly lives, which he called only the “initiation” of life.

Old age knows definitively the feeling of time and the limitations of the place in which we live our initiation. For this reason old age is wise, the elderly are wise because of this.

According to Pope Francis, old age is something to be praised as it is and does not need to be dressed up. It also brings with it a particular way of living joyfully, since for the faithful, it means getting closer to God with each passing moment.

Time passes, yes, but this is not a threat. It is a promise.

Pope Francis once again called for peace in Ukraine and greeted the various groups of pilgrims present through translators. To the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, he repeated a part of his catechesis that drew laughs from his aides. 

Stopping time, or wanting eternal youth, unlimited wealth, absolute power, is not only impossible, it is delusional.

He then invited various pilgrims to greet him on stage and listen to their stories.