Cardinals are called to be grandfathers says Pope

Pope Francis rejects the idea that the church is a “gerontocracy” ruled by old men. While it’s true many may need help to get  up and down the small steps to the altar for Communion, Francis says it doesn’t automatically make them old.

In fact, he has a surprising sounding description for them: “We aren’t old men, we’re grandfathers,” he said.

“We are grandfathers called to dream and to give our dreams to the young people of today. They need it so that from our dreams, they can draw the strength to prophesy and carry out their task,” he told about 50 members of the College of Cardinals.

As grandfathers, the cardinals should know their grandchildren are watching and looking to them, Francis explained.

Therefore he expects the Cardinals to share their experiences to help young people find meaning in their lives.

Francis went on to point out that the Bible says Abraham was 75 years old when God called him.

“He was more or less our age. He was about to retire … with the weight of old age, that old age that brings aches, illness,” Abraham heard God call him “as if he were a scout,” the pope said. God tells him, “Go. Look. And hope.”

He and the cardinals were like Abraham in that respect, Francis explained.

“He tells us that now is not the time to shut down our lives or to end our stories.”

This means he and the cardinals cannot be focused on “the melancholy of our story,” but must be dreamers who continue to look to the future with hope, knowing that God continues to act in human history.


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