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  • » 06/08/2007, 00.00

    VATICAN

    Caritas’ task is to express God’s love whilst striving for social justice, says Pope



    Benedict XVI tells participants to Caritas Internationalis’ general assembly that their task is part of the Church’s universality and calls for bearing witness to one’s own experience of faith and being open to all men.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) – In his address to the 18th general assembly of Caritas Internationalis that brought together representatives of 150 national branches, Benedict XVI said that the essence of the organisation’s action within the broader goal of social justice is to express Christ’s love. For this reason, humanitarian aid must be given to all but also go hand in hand with bearing witness to one’s faith in order to promote human dignity.

    First, Benedict XVI noted that Caritas’ work is “truly a part of the Church, [. . .] called, by means of the charitable activity that you undertake, to assist in the Church’s mission to spread throughout the world the love of God.”

    For the Pope, Christ’s self-giving love is at the heart of Caritas and every charitable activity, whether individual or organised, must find in Him its point of reference and source of charity. It thus becomes necessary “to situate humanitarian assistance in the context of a personal witness of faith, which then becomes a part of the gift offered to the poor.”

    From this theological vision, the Caritas worker is called to bear witness to that love before the world. Christian charity exceeds our natural capacity for love: it is a theological virtue, as Saint Paul teaches us in his famous hymn to charity (cf 1 Cor 13).

    The second implication follows closely from the first since “God’s love is offered to everyone.” Indeed, “the Church’s charity is [. . .] universal in scope” and includes “a commitment to social justice” even though “changing unjust structures is not in and of itself sufficient to guarantee the happiness of the human person.”

    As the Pope said in his recent trip to Brazil, politics “is not the immediate competence of the Church.” Instead, the Church’s “mission is to promote the integral development of the human person.”

    For this reason, “the great challenges facing the world at the present time,” from globalisation to social injustice, “cannot be confronted and overcome unless attention is focused on the deepest needs of the human person: the promotion of human dignity, well-being and, in the final analysis, eternal salvation.”

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    See also

    16/05/2012 VATICAN
    Pope: "There is no human cry that is not heard by God"
    General audience, Benedict XVI speaks of prayer in the Letters of St. Paul. It is true that "we do not know how to pray: We can only open ourselves up, make time available for God; wait for Him to help us truly enter into dialogue”. World Day of the Family, work, supports it and allows it to be open to life. Sunday "as a day of rest."

    14/05/2015 CARITAS – MYANMAR
    Caritas Myanmar, on a mission for the human and social development of all ethnic groups
    The charity’s president, Mgr Raymond Sumlut Gam, and director, Win Tun Kyi, spoke to AsiaNews about how the Catholic organisation operates. In the wake of the conflicts that tore at the country, its people need "humanitarian assistance and education".

    12/05/2015 VATICAN
    For pope, God will ask the powerful of the Earth “if they really provide[d] food for Him in every person”
    During the Mass he celebrated to mark the opening of the 20th General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis, Francis pleaded again not to forget the "intolerable injustices" suffered by "our Christian brothers and sisters who have been violently deprived of the food for the body and for the soul: they have been driven from their homes and their churches, at times destroyed.” He also warned that “those who experience the Caritas mission are not just service providers, but true witnesses of Christ”.

    28/05/2009 VATICAN
    May the crisis lead Christians to show solidarity towards its victims, Pope says
    In his address to Italian bishops Benedict XVI highlights an “educational emergency” at a time of relativism and nihilism. This calls for educators who know to how “trust in life and in man, in his reason and in his capacity to love.

    15/02/2006 VATICAN
    The Lord of History is on the side of the humble, says the Pope
    Benedict XVI ends with a meditation on the Magnificat the series of catecheses on the psalms and the canticles that began with John Paul II I April 2001.



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