Vatican champions elderly rights during the pandemic

elderly during the pandemic

A new Vatican document warns against “lack of concern and sensitivity” towards the weak and elderly during the pandemic and its aftermath.

The Pontifical Academy for Life, assisted by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, issued “Old Age: Our Future. The elderly after the pandemic” on February 9.

It was signed by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia and Father Renzo Pegoraro, respectively the president and chancellor of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

The text is not only concerned about the fate of the elderly after the pandemic. It also warns that older folks are often being left to fend for themselves as the health emergency rages.

“We are all in the same storm, but it is increasingly evident that we are on different boats, and that the least seaworthy boats are sinking every day,” the note adds by way of analogy.

“Discarding the old – even with expressions – is a serious problem for everyone,” the Vatican document warns.

The Vatican text reflects on the importance of the elderly’s place in society. It insists that older people cannot be reduced to how productive or useful they are.

“The elderly remind us of the radical weakness of every human being, even when they are healthy, they remind us of the need to be loved and supported. In old age, losing all self-sufficiency, we beg for help,” the note says.

Pope Francis has repeatedly urged young people to stay close to their grandparents, the document notes.

It added that “the aging man is not approaching the end, but the mystery of eternity; to understand it he needs to get close to God and to live in relationship with Him. Taking care of the spirituality of the elderly, of their need for intimacy with Christ and sharing of faith is a task of charity in the Church.”

Pope Francis’ recently designated the fourth Sunday of July as World Day of Prayer for Grandparents and the Elderly.


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