Aid Agency Leader Named to Cor Unum Council

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 8, 2009 ( The Pope's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, appointed the president of Aid to the Church in Need, Father Joaquín Alliende, to the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.

The aid agency announced today the appointment of the Chilean priest, who is a member of the Schonstatt Fathers.

He became president last October of the agency, which gives pastoral support to the Church in some 140 countries.

Father Alliende participated as an advisor in the last three general assemblies of the Latin American bishops' conference. He is involved with the World Council of Churches in Geneva, and belongs to theological commissions in various countries.

The priest met recently with the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Patriarch Kirill, as part of his particular program to promote interreligious dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church through the aid agency.

Before becoming president, he was involved with the agency as an advisor on theological issues and an international ecclesiastical assistant.