Pope Francis: Societies That Don’t Care for Elderly, Children “Have No Future”

International   |   Bobby Schindler   |   Sep 18, 2013   |   4:43PM   |   Washington, DC

Recently, in an address to Catholics who came to Turin, Italy for the 47th annual Social Service Week, Pope Francis said the following, “A population that does not take care of the elderly and of children and the young has no future, because it abuses both its memory and its promise.”

It goes without saying how important it is for us to hear the Pope validate the compassion and regard we must have for our children and elderly. Not surprising is that there was not a whole lot of coverage from our mainstream media.

Nonetheless, just as with preceding Popes who have in similar fashion reminded people of the inherent moral worth of every person, Pope Francis is acutely aware of what is happening across the entire globe, and what seems to be the abandonment of our humanity on so many levels.

In this article, the Pope included the breakdown of the family unit and how this leads to the devaluation of the human person, and as such, the lack of regard we have for our vulnerable. From the article, Pope Francis: A society that fails to protect young and old ‘has no future’:

“The family understood in this way remains the first and principle building block of society and of an economy on a human scale,” he said. He added that the “consequences” of family policy and breakdown “touch upon the various areas of the life of a society and a country.”

Cleary, our culture is in a crisis on many levels. The Pope and so many other leading experts have argued that the deterioration of the family unit is playing a major role in this crisis, particularly when it comes to the defense of the sacredness of life.

The millions of people who have been deliberately killed in a relatively short period of time in our human existence is beyond all belief. If not for the tireless work of so many people and organizations fighting for life, especially against abortion, the numbers would be even worse, if one can even begin to comprehend that.

And although the numbers may not compare to how many abortions take place on a daily basis on a global scale, I think people would be shocked if we were somehow able to track the number of people who are being euthanized on a daily basis. When you take into account the tens of thousands of health care facilities, hospitals, nursing homes, and hospices, which exist in just our nation, one can image the number of people falling victim to a culture that is more concerned about making a profit than protecting our medically vulnerable.

Now with food and water (via a feeding tube) defined as medical treatment in all 50 states, removing it from the cognitively disabled, the elderly and others, is both legal and relatively easy depending upon which state one lives.

In fact, according to a report issued by the NRLC Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics in 2005, the laws of all but ten states may allow doctors and hospitals to disregard advance directives when they call for treatment, food, or fluids. I wonder just how many people are aware that physicians and ethics committees are now in the position to make these kinds of decisions – to remove food and water even if the person has expressed the desire to have this provided for them. And this is happening now, before Obamacare has become part of the day-to-day routine.

Fortunately, the Catholic Church does not view food and water, via feeding tube, as “medical treatment” or artificial life support/extraordinary care. Sadly however, the Church seems to be a lone voice on this issue for those who need food and water to live.



In March 2004, Pope John Paul II clarified church teaching on this issue and said the feeding tubes that administer food and water are to be viewed as basic and ordinary care. The pope went on to say that if the person is not dying and can assimilate food and hydration via a feeding tube, then there is a moral obligation to continue to provide this care to the individual.

May we continue to pray for Pope Francis for his continued strength, and also for those in Catholic leadership, who remain silent, that they will find the courage to speak out against our culture’s greatest evil; the deliberate taking of human life.

These prayers are especially needed here in the US with Obamacare taking over our health care system lead by an administration that has no regard for the value and dignity of our medically vulnerable, putting even more of our innocent in the cross hairs of their anti-life agenda.