Francis begins series of talks on old age

Pope Francis during his general audience yesterday (Vatican Media)

Pope Francis decried the excessive “exaltation of youth” yesterday as he began a new general audience series on old age. Source: CNA.

Speaking at his live-streamed general audience, the Pope noted that as the average age of populations continued to rise, the “elderly are often seen as a burden.”

“The dominant culture has as its sole model the young adult, i.e. a self-made individual who always remains young. But is it true that youth contains the full meaning of life, while old age simply represents its emptying and loss?” Pope Francis asked as he spoke in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.

“The exaltation of youth as the only age worthy of embodying the human ideal, coupled with contempt for old age as frailty, decay, disability, has been the dominant image of 20th-century totalitarianism. Have we forgotten this?” he added.

Pope Francis said that youth was beautiful, but cautioned that “eternal youth is a very dangerous illusion”.

“Being old is just as important – and beautiful – is equally important as being young,” he said.

“Let us remember this. The alliance between generations, which restores all ages of life to the human, is our lost gift and we have to get it back. It must be found in this culture of waste and in this culture of productivity.”

The Pope announced that his weekly catechesis at the Wednesday audience in the coming weeks would focus on seeking inspiration in the Word of God on the meaning and value of old age. Last week, he concluded his 12-week cycle of catechesis on St Joseph.

FULL S TORY

Pope Francis decries excessive ‘exaltation of youth’ as he begins new catechesis series on old age (By Courtney Mares, CNA

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