Loading
Always Value Life
Elderly and infirm are not “a problem,” Pope says
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- During an audience on Saturday with participants of the 22nd international conference promoted by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI called for complete respect for the life and human dignity of the infirm and the elderly, who are often marginalized as a “weight” and a “problem” by “today's mentality of efficiency."

The Pope commented on the theme of the conference, "The Pastoral Care of Elderly Sick People,” which is of interest to “an increasingly larger population, which has many needs and at the same time unmistakable human and spiritual resources.”

“Today's mentality of efficiency" views elderly sick people as "a 'burden' and a 'problem' for society,” the Holy Father said in his message. "Those who have an understanding of human dignity, however, know that the elderly must be respected and supported while they face the serious difficulties linked to their state," he added.

The elderly who are affected by incurable illnesses need palliative care that is able to mitigate the pain, the Holy Father said, in order to face "in a conscious and human way the last stage of earthly existence, to serenely prepare for death."  Moreover, in addition to competent medical care, "the sick need understanding, comfort and constant encouragement and accompaniment."


John Paul II and suffering

Noting that for Christians death is a “journey towards the embrace of the heavenly Father, full of tenderness and mercy” and that the sick need the support of their family and the Sacraments, the Pope recalled the witness of John Paul II.

“On numerous occasions, my venerable predecessor John Paul II, especially by offering an "exemplary witness of faith and courage" in his illness, exhorted scientists and physicians to never cede "to the temptation to have recourse to the practice of shortening the life of the elderly or the sick, practices that would in fact result in forms of euthanasia."

He also exhorted those charged with care for the infirm, as well as politicians and administrators, to never forget that “the temptation of euthanasia appears as one of the more alarming symptoms of the culture of death that is advancing above all in the society of well-being."

Benedict XVI called for a “general commitment” to respect human life not only in Catholic hospitals but in all places that offer medical care, and he exhorted “believers facing illness and death to "not to lose their serenity, because nothing, not even death, can separate us from the love of Christ."

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
Dec
20

Liturgical Calendar

December 20, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Gospel
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Judg 13: 2-7, 24-25A
Gospel:: Lk 1: 5-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
12/15/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Homily
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14