ROME — Pope Francis launched an appeal Sunday for a “new covenant between young and old” in an address commemorating the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly.
“We need to share the treasure of life, to dream together, to overcome conflicts between generations and to prepare a future for everyone,” declared the homily prepared by Francis and read during Mass by Italian Archbishop Rino Fisichella.
“Without such a covenantal sharing of life, dreams and future, we risk dying of hunger, as broken relationships, loneliness, selfishness and the forces of disintegration gradually increase,” the pope’s homily stated.
As Breitbart News reported, on Friday the Vatican announced a last-minute change in Pope Francis’s calendar, saying he would not celebrate Mass on Grandparents’ Day as originally planned.
Pope Francis “is recovering from his recent operation” and will not preside over the July 25 Mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica, when the Catholic Church will celebrate the first feast day dedicated to grandparents, Vatican sources stated.
The sources downplayed the importance of the change, insisting it was nothing other than “purely post-operative routine” for a convalescing pope.
The pope did appear at midday Sunday for his usual weekly Angelus address, however, greeting the crowds from the window of the Apostolic Palace overlooking Saint Peter’s Square.
Following his Angelus prayer, the pope returned to the topic of grandparents, inviting grandchildren “to celebrate this day in every community and to visit grandparents and the elderly, those who are most alone.”
“I ask the Lord that this feast help us who are more advanced in years to respond to his call in this season of life and to show society the value of the presence of grandparents and the elderly, especially in this throwaway culture,” he said.
“Grandparents need young people and young people need grandparents,” he added. “They have to talk, they have to meet!”
“Grandparents have the sap of history that rises and gives strength to the growing tree,” he said.
In his morning homily read by Archbishop Fisichella, Francis lamented that modern society has “frequently surrendered to the notion of ‘every man for himself.’”
“But this is deadly!” he said. “The Gospel bids us share what we are and what we possess, for only in this way will we find fulfilment.”
“Young and old, the treasure of tradition and the freshness of the Spirit,” he said. “Young and old together. In society and in the Church, together.”