The Vatican is calling for special prayers and spiritual closeness to the elderly during the coronavirus pandemic.
The call comes is a letter issued April 7, 2020, by the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life that points our the dangers of loneliness that can come from the isolation forced by restrictions on movement during the crisis. The letter points out that the elderly can become “fragile and disoriented” at this time – as can all people.
“A few weeks ago, Pope Francis said that ‘loneliness can be a disease, but with charity, closeness and spiritual comfort we can heal it’.,” the letter recalls. “These words help to understand that, if it is true that the coronavirus is more lethal when it encounters a debilitated body, in many cases the previous pathology is loneliness. It is no coincidence that we are witnessing the death, in terrible proportions and ways, of many people who live far from their families, and in truly debilitating and disheartening conditions of solitude.