Neglect of Elderly Is ‘Hidden Euthanasia,’ Pope Francis Says

Elderly people, including former Pope Benedict, attended a gathering of the wise and wrinkled at the Vatican today, where Pope Francis denounced the neglect and abandonment of the old as “hidden euthanasia.” During the festive event in St. Peter’s Square, Francis addressed some 40,000 elderly people — grandfathers, grandmothers, widows, and widowers. The Pope sought to underscore the importance of the old in society and he said homes for the elderly could not be allowed to become “prisons” where care took a backseat to business interests by those who run them. According to the World Health Organization, there are 600 million people over 60 in the world today and the figure is expected to double over the next 11 years and reach 2 billion by 2050, most in the developing world. Francis, 77, warmly embraced his older predecessor twice during the service and told the crowd that having Benedict, who now has the title Emeritus Pope, living in the Vatican was “like having a wise grandfather at home.” “Violence against the elderly is as inhuman as that against children,” Francis said to the crowd, which was entertained by singers including world renowned tenor Andrea Bocelli. “How many times are old people just discarded, victims of an abandonment that is tantamount to hidden euthanasia? This is the result of a throw-away culture that is hurting our world so much,” he said.

Source/more: Irish Times

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