23 July 2012
The 19th General Assembly was an important moment for the renewal of the Caritas confederation as it moved to agree new Statutes and Rules among its members that recognise its privileged position within the Holy See.
Participants of Caritas 19th General Assembly
Blessed John Paul II raised Caritas Internationalis to a ‘public canonical juridical personality’ by means of the Chirograph (or deed) ‘Durante l’ultima Cena’ in 2004. This formally recognised that Caritas carries out its charitable activities in the name of the Catholic Church.
Since 2007, Caritas and Holy See representatives worked on revisions reflecting this new standing. Delegates at the General Assembly in 2011 approved a draft version that was then taken for ward by staff of the Holy See and Caritas representatives.
On 2 May 2012, Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Rodríguez received the approved updated Statutes and Rules and a General Decree from the Cardinal Secretary of State on behalf of Pope Benedict.
These confirm Caritas Internationalis as coordinating humanitarian, development and international activities on behalf of its members and the Holy See. They strengthen the relationship with the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, the Vatican office responsible for coordinating and promoting social pastoral work and charitable giving. They establish Caritas more fully within the Holy See.
“Our new Statutes and Rules will modernise our work in delivering humanitarian assistance and development in service to the poor,” said Cardinal Rodríguez. “ They will provide us with the framework to carry out our work as part of the mission of the Church.”