Church must reach out to elderly too: Archbishop Villegas
Archbishop Villegas said that the Church must give attention not only to the next generation of Catholics but also to older ones.
As the Church tries to reach out to critics, troubled Catholics and the youth in the Year of Laity, CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan has said initiatives should include the elderly.
Archbishop Villegas said that the Church must give attention not only to the next generation of Catholics but also to older ones. Taking a cue from Pope Francis, he said the elderly were 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,” the prelate 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 followers, including “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 programmes 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 the age of social media, it is best to individually reach out to those who have antagonistic feelings towards the church, he said.