Pope Francis has urged young people not to neglect the elderly who are dying “because no one cares for them”.
The Pope made the remark in an interview with five young Catholics from Belgium. Their questions were asked in English and Francis answered them in Italian.
The interview, in the library of the Apostolic Palace, was suggested by a Flemish youth group and was arranged by Bishop Lucas Van Looy of Gent.
Pope Francis said he sensed he had a duty to answer the “restlessness” of young people. When one of the interviewers asked him what message he had for all young Christians and for those who don’t believe, he said: “You have to find authenticity in your way of speaking … In this moment of history, man is pushed out of the centre … Young people no longer want children. Families are becoming smaller … the elderly are pushed away, many elderly die because of a sort of hidden euthanasia, because no one cares for them and they die.”
Another interviewer asked if the human race was still capable of taking care of humanity, and the Pope answered: “I ask myself this question too, and then I ask myself: ‘God, where are you?’ … Some people don’t find him during their life. They don’t find him consciously, but they are so real, so honest about themselves, so good and such lovers of beauty, that in the end they have a very mature and competent personality and meet God in all His grace.”
When asked if he also made mistakes, the Pope said: “I have made mistakes and I still make them … In my life I have learned, and I still do, that mistakes are the best teachers.” Then when asked about his mistakes he said: “I was too authoritarian. I learned then that you have to enter into dialogue and have to listen to what others think.”