Wednesday 22 November 2017

Pope Francis hails 'wisdom' of older generation

A girl reacts as she is carried by a security officer to Pope Francis in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
A girl reacts as she is carried by a security officer to Pope Francis in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Nicole Winfield and Bradley Brooks Rio de Janeiro

Pope Francis praised the elderly during the Catholic Church's festival of youth, saying grandparents are critical for passing on wisdom and religious heritage and are a "treasure to be preserved and strengthened".

Francis has made a point of not just focusing on the next generation of Catholics during World Youth Day, but on the older generation as well.

It's part of the Pontiff's long-standing work caring for the elderly in Argentina, the crucial role his own grandmother played in his own spiritual development and the gentle deference he shows his predecessor, Benedict XVI.

Speaking from the balcony of the residence of Rio's archbishop, Francis noted that yesterday was celebrated as Grandparents Day in much of the world and that young people should take the occasion to honour and thank their grandparents for the wisdom they share.

"How important grandparents are for family life, for passing on the human and religious heritage, which is so essential for each and every society," he said.

Francis spoke about the important "bridge" between young and old in his brief remarks to journalists en route to Rio, saying young Catholics have the strength to move the church forward while older Catholics have the "wisdom of life" to share that shouldn't be discarded.

"This relationship and this dialogue between generations is treasure to be preserved and strengthened," he told the gathering of young pilgrims yesterday.

Irish Independent

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