Children and the Elderly: The Hope of the People, available at:

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Pope Francis Corner

Children and the Elderly: The Hope of the People

April 16, 2014

On April 11, 2014 Pope Francis received 470 members of the Italian Movement for Life in the Sala Clementina of the Vatican Apostolic Palace. He thanked them for their work in promoting the dignity of all human life and then encouraged them to be renewed in the desire to protect life, especially that of children and the elderly.

The Pope is quite aware that we live in a “throwaway” culture, where “human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded.” We should be consoled, however, that this is not the message of our faith.  He reminds us that “every civil right is based on the recognition of the first, fundamental right, the right to life, which is not subject to any condition, of a qualitative, economic and certainly not of an ideological nature.”

Pope Francis asserted that the two populations that are the most vulnerable and in need of the utmost protection are the unborn and the elderly, as they are both the “hope of the people.” Children, he said, are the hope of the people because they “lead the people ahead,” whereas the elderly are the hope of the people insofar as they “hold the wisdom of history; they are the memory of the people.”

The Pope exhorts us all to be Christians who witness to the Gospel in order to protect life with “courage and love, in all its phases.”

Read the Vatican News story about this address:

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Children and the Elderly: The Hope of the People, available at: