Presenting himself as "an elderly man visiting his peers," Pope Benedict XVI visited a Rome residence for the elderly, urging the residents to see their age as a sign of God's blessing and urging society to value their presence and wisdom.http://www.catholicnews.com/data/storie ... 204750.htm
"Though I know the difficulties that come with being our age, I want to say, it's wonderful being old," the 85-year-old pope said Nov. 12 during a morning visit to the residence run by the lay Community of Sant'Egidio.
Walking with his white-handled black cane, the pope visited several of the residents in their rooms and apartments before addressing them and members of Sant'Egidio in the garden...
The pope told those gathered at the residence on the Janiculum Hill that in the Bible a long life is considered a blessing from God, but often today society, which is "dominated by the logic of efficiency and profit, doesn't welcome it as such."
"I think we need a greater commitment, beginning with families and public institutions, to ensure the elderly can stay in their homes" and that they can pass on their wisdom to younger generations.
"The quality of a society or civilization can be judged by how it treats the elderly," he said.
Pope Benedict also insisted on recognition of the dignity and value of all human life, even when "it becomes fragile in the years of old age."
"One who makes room for the elderly, makes room for life," the pope said. "One who welcomes the elderly, welcomes life."