Europe Slammed for 'Discarding' the Elderly, Youth


Pope Francis criticized Europe Sunday for its low birth rates, poor treatment of the elderly, and an increasing number of young people who neither work or study.

Speaking from Rome, he said Europe "discards" its elderly by shunning them as "no longer useful" and fails their youth by not providing work.

"When the elderly are discarded, when the elderly are isolated and sometimes closed off without affection, it's a bad sign!" Francis said during his visit to the Community of Sant'Egidio in Rome's Santa Maria in Trastevere Basilica.

"Europe is tired. We have to help rejuvenate it, to find its roots. It's true: it has disowned its roots. But we need to help it find them," Francis argued.

Pope Francis' predecessors often said Western Europe had forgotten its Christian roots and had become obsessed with consumerism.

"Not to share wealth with poor is to steal," Pope added, calling capitalism the "new tyranny."'

He slammed "the idol of money" in the region's economy, stating that it makes the poor "more and more poor, depriving them of the essentials, such as home and work."

Francis said "we must help Europe get younger" and re-discover its roots or risk Europe becoming a "throw-away culture."

"A people...that does not take care of its young people is a people without a future, a people without hope," he said.

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