Pope Benedict XVI greeted delegates from Caritas Internationalis during his weekly General Audience, encouraging their work for the poor.
Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga received updated Statutes and Rules and a General Decree from the Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone on behalf of Pope Benedict on 2 May.
The revised Statutes and Rules provide a legal basis reflecting the new standing of Caritas as a ‘public canonical juridical personality’ bestowed by Blessed John Paul II in 2004.
The new status formally recognises that Caritas carries out its charitable activities in the name of the Catholic Church and strengthens its working relationship with the Holy See.
Cardinal Rodriguez attended the General Audience along with members of the Caritas Internationalis governance bodies, the Representative Council and the Executive Board.
“Your presence here today expresses your communion with the Successor of Peter and your readiness to welcome the new juridical framework of your organisation,” said Pope Benedict to the Caritas representatives. “I thank you for this and I am certain that the new structures will support and encourage your important service to those most in need.”
Listen to the Pope’s message to Caritas. Thanks to Vatican Radio for permission to broadcast this clip. All rights reserved Vatican Radio 2012.
The Representative Council is meeting 15 to 17 May in Rome followed by the first meeting of the Executive Board.