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Pope says elderly, young people the 'hope for humanity'

'We must not turn off their enthusiasm' Francis says of youth

13 January, 12:35
Pope says elderly, young people the 'hope for humanity' (ANSA) - Vatican City, January 13 - The world's youth as well as its elderly together form "the hope for humanity" and should be treated with care, Pope Francis said Monday.

"Sometimes seniors are considered a burden, while young people do not see certain prospects ahead for their lives," the pope said during the annual new year's audience with the diplomatic corps.

"But on the contrary, seniors and young people are the hope of humanity," Francis said.

"The first bring the wisdom of experience, the second open us to the future," he added.

It is important to avoid "marginalizing the elderly from social life" because they can teach young people the important lessons of life and their history, said the pope during a speech with numerous social messages.

"Likewise, it is good to invest in young people, with appropriate initiatives to help them find work and establish (homes)," he said.

"We must not turn off their enthusiasm".

The pope's remarks come at a time of high unemployment among young people across Europe, including a rate about 40% in Italy, triggering promises from politicians around the continent that youth job creation will be a top priority.