On Trinity Sunday evening, Pope visited the community of Sant’ Egidio in the Roman neighborhood of Trastevere...
He spoke to the community, focusing on solidarity: solidarity in prayer; solidarity in action to aid the weakest and most vulnerable in society; and especially, solidarity across generations. Departing from his prepared remarks, the Holy Father said, “A people that does care for its elder members, one that does not take care of its young people, is a people without a future, a people without hope – for young people - children, young people - and seniors carry [the people] forward in history.” Pope Francis went on to say, “Children and young people [do so] with the vim and vigor natural to youth, to be sure [It. I bambini, i giovani con la loro forza biologica, è giusto]. The elders [do so] by offering memory. When a society loses its memory, though, it is finished.”
Pope Francis went on to tie the crisis among the young and the elderly in society to the “throw-away culture” that drives and dominates globally. “In order to maintain such a [system], in which, at the center of the world economy, there are not man and woman, but the idol of money, it is necessary to discard things. Children are discarded.”
“Just think,” he continued, “of the birth rate in Europe: in Italy, Spain, France – and the elderly, [too], are thrown away, with attitudes behind which there hides a form of euthanasia. [The elderly] are no longer useful – and that which is not useful is to be tossed aside,” he said.
“Europe is tired,” said Pope Francis. “We have to help Europe rejuvenate, to find its roots. It is true: Europe has disowned its roots – and we must help Europe to rediscover those roots.”
~ excerpted from Vatican Radio.