Catholic Teachings on Eldercare

Nov. 7, 2017, Address of Pope Francis to the European Regional Meeting of the World Medical Association.

March 5, 2015, Pope: “We must not abandon the elderly,” during March 5, 2015, address to the Pontifical Academy for Life.

Nov. 12, 2012, Address of Pope Benedict at the Sant Egidio Home for the Elderly

Dec. 13, 2009, Address of Pope Benedict at the Hospice of the Sacred Heart

Sept. 12, 2002, Intervention of the Holy See at the European Ministers Conference on Aging

Apostolic Journey to Rio de Janeiro on the Occasion of the XXVIII World Youth Day
Meeting of the Holy Father Francis with the Journalists during the Flight to Brazil
July 22, 2013

"But at the other end of life, the elderly, they too are the future of a people. A people has a future if it goes forward with both elements: with the young, who have the strength, and things move forward because they do the carrying; and with the elderly because they are the ones who give life's wisdom. And I have often thought that we do the elderly an injustice, we set them aside as if they had nothing to offer us; they have wisdom, life's wisdom, history's wisdom, the homeland's wisdom, the family's wisdom. And we need all this!"

Pope Benedict XVI
Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI to Participants in the 22nd International Congress of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care
Nov. 17, 2007

"The person called to accompany the aged sick must confront these questions, especially when there seems to be no possibility of healing. Today's efficiency mentality often tends to marginalize our suffering brothers and sisters, as if they were only a "weight" and "a problem" for society. The person with a sense of human dignity knows that they are to respect and sustain them while they face serious difficulties linked to their condition. Indeed, recourse to the use of palliative care when necessary is correct, which, even though it cannot heal, can relieve the pain caused by illness.

"Alongside the indispensable clinical treatment, however, it is always necessary to show a concrete capacity to love, because the sick need understanding, comfort and constant encouragement and accompaniment. The elderly in particular must be helped to travel in a mindful and human way on the last stretch of earthly existence in order to prepare serenely for death, which — we Christians know — is a passage toward the embrace of the Heavenly Father, full of tenderness and mercy."