ITALY: Improve Efforts of Mutual Understanding and Cooperation for Development, Urges Caritas Internationalis Administrator to African Delegates

By Paschal Norbert 

ROME, MAY 9, 2023 (CISA) Mr Pier Francesco Pinelli, the Temporary Administrator of Caritas Internationalis (CI) has appealed to delegates from the 46 member organizations of Caritas Africa meeting in Rome for the Regional General Assembly from May 7 to 10, to improve the efforts of mutual understanding and cooperation for common paths of development.

Addressing the delegation gathered in Rome under the theme “Building resilient communities together in Africa,” Mr Pinelli underscored the significance of Caritas Africa’s unity of purpose as a prophetic project of faith and hope while also highlighting its challenges.

“It seems much easier to proceed alone, many are the temptations for division for enhancing differences and forgetting or diminish our brothers. Walking together requires patience and is sometimes inefficient, but this is the way families live and grow, based on love, on mutual care but open to discussion and to listen to each other’s problems,” he said.

Mr Pinelli lauded the work done by Caritas Africa and its member organizations as wonderful and unique, saying many beneficiaries are relieved by their services.

“You bring light, hope, to bear witness to love. You are present in war and climate emergencies, in forgotten crises, and community strengthening. You have been present in the field, but also in places where you try to give voice to changes that can eliminate the roots of injustice strengthening communities in difficulty is the foundation of a robust more inclusive and just society and the basic layer to build local Church,” stated the administrator.

In his speech, Mr Pinelli implored the delegates to continue to work in the spirit of synodality, which is embedded in Caritas DNA.

“Caritas tries hard to apply a “participatory approach” in what she does. Your activities are characterized by several Committees, participated by members originally from the 6 areas of Caritas Africa, the governance bodies follow the same model, when involved in projects and emergencies we strive to join forces,” he said.

“These are the seeds of synodality, that have always been present within Caritas Internationalis. Communities are the place where synodality can flourish. Not only Church communities but civil communities. The more inclusive the participation the stronger can be the community resilience,” he added.

Mr Pinelli also took that opportunity to thank Caritas Africa governance bodies for their collaboration and support given to CI and his office as his caretaker duties come to an end, ahead of the General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis scheduled from May 11 to 16, 2023. The assembly is expected to elect the President, General Secretary and Treasurer of the organization after Pope Francis put it under temporary administration in 2022.

Founded in 1995, Caritas Africa is a charitable and development organization of the Catholic Church that brings together a total of 46 National Caritas in sub-Saharan Africa and the adjacent islands of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

Its mission is to accompany the Church in Africa in the fulfilment of its ministry of charity and justice by helping the poor and the most excluded, responding to humanitarian emergencies, promoting the development and resilience of communities, and advocating for peace and respect for human rights.