MANILA, Feb. 1, 2014— As the Church tries to reach out to the youth and the “un-churched”, the head of the Catholic hierarchy said initiatives are also in place for the elderly.
Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, CBCP president, said the Church must give attention not only to the next generation of Catholics but also to the older ones.
Taking a cue from Pope Francis, he said the elderly are critical for passing on ‘their wisdom and experience’.
“We want to reach out to them and tell them that they are very important in the Church,” Villegas said.
“In our age we hide wrinkles and white hair. But there is something beautiful about it as it shows wisdom and experience,” he said.
In this Year of the Laity, the Church is taking new steps to reach to more of its followers including the “hurting and disgruntled Catholics” and even to “critics” of the Church.
According to him, the celebration is not only for the supportive faithful but also for the critical ones because “they are children of God, too”.
“We are putting up programs for troubled Catholics… troubled friends as we call them because they are addicted to alcohol, or to drugs, or even sex,” Villegas added.
“We are also highlighting the unknown heroes, unknown saints or maybe catechists in villages or priests who struggle improving the lives of the people.”
“In case they really have an antagonistic feeling towards the church, it would have to be a one on one approach because even if the social media is available, there is no substitute to one person reaching out to others and sharing with them the person of Christ himself,” he said. (CBCPNews)