Aid Organizations Focus on Giving Christ

Pontifical Council Cor Unum Concludes Assembly

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 16, 2009 (Zenit.org).- As one can't give what one doesn't have, the Church's aid organizations are working on not only collecting material goods, but also spiritual ones.



This was the conclusion of the 28th plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, which concluded Saturday in Rome.

The council is the Vatican organization established by Pope Paul VI in 1971 to coordinate the initiatives of Catholic charitable institutions.
 
The three-day assembly, which gathered diocesan, national and international Caritas representatives, focused on the topic "Formative Processes for Agents of Charity."

In a statement released at the end of the meeting, Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, the council's president, said that "up to now, reflection on the struggle against poverty focused only on the perspective of the objectives to be pursued in the charitable commitment."
 
"Now we want to overcome this limitation and concentrate on the human and spiritual quality of all those who work in Catholic charitable agencies, whether they are professionals or volunteers," he added.

Cor Unum reported that two essential indications emerged on the part of those responsible for the Church's charitable activities: "[T]he ultimate objective of our work is Christian witness through aid endeavors for the poorest, but to give witness to Christ implies that one has first met him.
 
"To educate it is necessary to be continually educated, otherwise, in the formative process of the agents of charity, one runs the risk of making one's own the priorities established by other international entities foreign to the Church, when the latter cannot silence her own foundation of faith."