Death has become an obscenity — the great unmentionable, said Cardinal Heenan at Westminster Abbey this week. He was attending a service to launch Help the Aged's international fund-raising campaign.
"Nobody dies — we pass away or pass on. No disease is fatal, it only reaches its terminal stages.
"Men refuse to think or talk of death because they have .within them the yearning for everlasting life. That is why the believer does not regard death as obscene. St Francis of Assisi used to talk of Sister Death — a friend to be welcomed."
Cardinal Heenan said the word old, like death, had also become obscene. "Old people have been abolished. They have become senior citizens," he said.
"At best they are the aged, which is thought to be less offensive than being old." All, will die and most will die in security, he added.
He went on to praise Help the Aged's flatlet and .sheltered housing schemes.