Priest to Lead Aid to the Church in Need

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KOENIGSTEIN, Germany, APRIL 16, 2008 ( Hans-Peter Röthlin, president of Aid to the Church in Need, announced that he will step down to make way for a priest to lead the charity.

Röthlin, who has led the charity organization for nine years, explained today that the statutes of the aid organization stipulate that the president should be a member of the clergy.

He said that his resignation takes place in a moment of stability for the charity, and that he will continue to be at the service of Aid to the Church in Need for a variety of specific tasks.

Father Joaquín Alliende-Luco, the former international ecclesiastical assistant of Aid to the Church in Need, will take over as the new president this fall.

Father Alliende is a native of Chile and a member of the Schönstatt movement.

Aid to the Church in Need is officially designated in canon law as a "public association of pontifical right."

The charity was founded in 1947 by Father Werenfried van Straaten. The Dutch Norbertine died in 2003.

Today it supports projects in some 140 countries and has fundraising offices in 17 countries.