CSAN canvasses views on how to value the elderly

Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) has launched a national survey on how the Catholic community can better support its members through the process of ageing. The survey is part of a Bishops’ Conference response to Pope Francis’ call to value the elderly.  CSAN wants the views of lay, practising Catholics aged 18+, living in England and Wales. The survey closing date is 1 January 2021:


Pope Francis has called repeatedly on churches to play a more active role in valuing the elderly and inventing the future of care in later life. It is part of his deep concern about a culture that regards many older and young people as economically unproductive and therefore as lives to be ‘thrown away’.

A year ago, CSAN presented a major national report on this theme, Care in Time, to the bishops’ plenary meeting. The bishops welcomed this report and agreed on a joint resolution, asking diocesan chief operating officers, religious provincials and superiors, and leaders of charities in the Caritas network, to work together on developing a joint plan to address in fresh ways the challenges and opportunities in a rapidly ageing society. CSAN has committed to this work within current resources. The survey, being led by St John of God Hospitaller Services, is one element of forming a response to the resolution. Covid-19 has highlighted and exacerbated the need to build up creative and hopeful opportunities for people of all ages facing isolation and mental ill-health, to be in association within their local communities.