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Pope denounces neglect, abandonment of old people

Pope Francis has denounced the neglect and abandonment of the old as “hidden euthanasia”.
He said this on Sunday at the Vatican City, while addressing over 40,000 elderly people, which includes grandfathers, grandmothers, widows and widowers, during the festive event in St. Peter’s Square.
Francis called for more respect for the vital role of old people, particularly in rich countries, as vital transmitters of experience and knowledge.
He said homes for elderly people should really be homes, and not be seeing as prisons where people live “forgotten, hidden and neglected.
Frances stressed 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 back seat to business interests by those who run them.
He said a data by World Health Organisation, indicated that there are more than 600 million people in the world today.
Francis said the data indicated that the figure was expected to double over the next 11 years and reach two billion by 2050, most in the developing world.
“Old people are just discarded, as victims of abandonment that is tantamount to hidden euthanasia,’’ he said.
“This is the result of a throw-away culture that is hurting our world so much,” he added.
Elderly people, including former Pope Benedict, attended the gathering tagged “A gathering of the wise and wrinkled.”
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.”
This was the third time since his resignation in February, 2013 that Benedict, 87, attended a public event.
He looked relatively healthy as he walked into the square using a cane and took a special seat in the front.
Benedict, wearing a white overcoat, stayed for about an hour to hear old people speak about their lives and listen to a speech by his successor.
The crowd was entertained by singers including world renowned tenor Andrea Bocelli.
One of the elderly couples who addressed the gathering, Mubarak and Aneesa Hano, are Christian refugees from northern Iraq who had to flee their home because the area had been taken over by Islamic State militants.
Source: Punch

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