10 September 2019
Reflection on the role of the elderly is a service to the Church
Address of Vittorio Scelzo at the meeting of “Pastoral del Adulto Mayor” of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia
“Your reflection on the role of the elderly in society and in the ecclesial community is a valuable service for the whole Church.” With these words Vittorio Scelzo, an offical of the Dicastery in charge of pastoral outreach to the elderly, addressed the participants in a meeting titled “The Treasure of Old Age,” organized by the Episcopal Conference of Colombia (CEC), and which convened from 27-29 August in Bogotá for all delegates and pastoral workers from the “Pastoral del Adulto Mayor” (“Pastoral Care of Senior Adults”) initiative.
Scelzo recalled how often Pope Francis insists on appreciating the worth of the elderly, and how he himself emphasized that Christian spirituality was taken by surprise in the face of the novelty of the presence of so many elderly in the Church. “From this perspective,” he added, “the value of your work is twofold: on the one hand, you manifest to the elderly whom you meet, the tender face of a Church that goes out to them; and on the other, you contribute to the task of reflecting on the vocation of the elderly in the Church, which the Holy Father has asked us to begin.”
During the inaugural session of the meeting, Msgr. Jaime Muñoz Pedroza, delegate of the Bishops’ Conference of Colombia for the Pastoral del Adulto Mayor, said that it is necessary “to go out from our parishes to come to know how many elderly are in our community, and where they live”; while Msgr. Elkin Fernando Álvarez Botero, the general secretary of the CEC, insisted on the necessity of “globalizing the Pastoral del Adulto Mayor, because it is becoming increasingly inserted into all pastoral dynamics.”