Pope Francis has voiced his opinion on the elderly at a special mass in Rome to honor grandparents. The Argentine pontiff condemned the act of leaving the elderly in retirement homes, calling it a form of "hidden euthanasia."

While speaking to the crowd at St Peter’s Basilica, he insisted that taking care of the elderly was important and called the act of abandoning the elderly in institutions is a "poisonous" culture that "hurts our world." He further stress that a society that does not care for its elderly "has no future."

"Violence against the elderly is as inhuman as that against children," said the 77-year-old head of the Catholic church, reports the Daily Mail. "How many times are old people just discarded, victims of an abandonment that is tantamount to hidden euthanasia. This is the result of a throw-away culture that is hurting our world so much

That being said, Pope Francis acknowledged that old-age homes are a necessity for those who have no family, but stressed that the residences should be "homes, not prisons" and the elderly should be cared for. "There must never be institutions where the elderly are forgotten, hidden or neglected," urged the pontiff.
 
He further reminded the crowd that the elderly have a lot of wisdom to share with younger generations, adding that "blessed are those families who have grandparents nearby."