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Caritas’ Annual Reports
Current Report: 2016

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By His Eminence Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, President of Caritas Internationalis and Michel Roy, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis

“There can be no renewal of our relationship with nature without a renewal of humanity itself. ” Pope Francis, Laudato Si’

In 2016, Caritas Internationalis gained inspiration from Pope Francis’s words, starting our own process of revitalization and journey of rebirth, strengthening Caritas as a confederation and as a family.

On the first anniversary of the publication of the papal encyclical in June, Caritas described Laudato Si’ as the “wind in the sails” of the battle against poverty and injustice. It has indeed given us determination and fortitude through another challenging year of major emergencies and efforts to bring peace instead of war to Syria.

Alongside the mission of fighting the suffering of people living on the margins, Caritas member organisations have risen to that challenge, spreading the message of Laudato Si’ through prayers, films, reflections for schools, reports and advocacy. The encyclical encouraged them to tackle climate change, food waste and this modern world of rising inequalities and large-scale migration.

Pope Francis reinforced his message on migration directly to the United Nations at its first ever summit on the issue in September. The pope said, “Dialogue is essential. Instead of raising walls, we need to be building bridges.” This is a call to conversion and a rekindling of how we regard and act towards our fellow humanity.

Senior Caritas leaders also heard the pope’s message on migration, which is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Pope Francis received them in the Vatican in November, putting aside his speech in favour of a direct call to action. “Let it be your care to support with renewed commitment, processes of development and paths of peace, in the countries from which these brothers and sisters are fleeing, or have left behind to seek a better future,” he said.

The Caritas delegation had already been reflecting on Pope Francis’ teachings and their meaning for faith-based organisations when they passed through the Holy Door of Mercy at St Peter’s Basilica. The pope opened the door – as well as one at Caritas Roma’s hostel – to initiate the Jubilee Holy Year of Mercy. Making mercy visible in our intentions, attitudes and actions in everyday life, will transform us – as individuals and as members of the Caritas family.

Looking ahead, our global migration campaign which starts in 2017 will give us a further opportunity to strengthen our global family. Together we will promote the “culture of encounter” and the opening of hearts to the richness of our sisters and brothers.

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