Social Delimitations of Aging within the Theological Language of the Roman Catholic Church Social Doctrine


  • Iosif TAMAŞ Research Assistant, Ph.D., at the Faculty of Roman-Catholic Theology, “Al. I. Cuza” University of Iași, Romania


delimitation, social, communication, aging, responsibility, faith, wisdom


On September 28, 2014, the Holy Father Pope Francis participated in the day dedicated to the elders at the initiative of the Pontifical Council for the Family. The meeting took place in St. Peter’s Square in Rome, where tens of thousands of grandparents and old people together with their families coming from several countries attended it. Being invited by Pope Francis, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI also attended the significantly entitled meeting “The Blessing of Long Life”. The position of the social doctrine of the church was also supported, being called to contrast the poisonous culture of the “refuse” that harms our world to a greater extent. Infants and the young are avoided because they do not work, as well as the elders claiming to maintain a “balanced” economic system where not the human being but the money is to be found within its center. We, the Christians, together with good faithful people, are called to patiently build a different society: warm, human, inclusive, that does not need to throw those weak in body and mind, but on the contrary, a society that adjusts its own “step” just according to the elders (Consiliul Pontifical pentru Laici 1999, 3). It’s necessary to determine the social [...] to pay more attention to the more and more alone and abandoned elders (Francisc 2014). In this paper we pursue the religious understanding of aging in the light of the Holy Scripture (long life and near-death, life experience and the progress in wisdom, aging as a symbol of eternity) and the position of the Catholic Church social doctrine on the issue of elderly care, and we explain how this social delimitation of aging is ontologically grounded for the elderly and not for someone else’s interests.


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