Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Holy Father, Cardinal Sarah and Reform at Catholic Charities

Brick by Brick, as Fr. Z would say.

Last week, at the Ad Limina visit of the Bishops of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming, His Holiness Pope Benedict discussed the role of the Catholic University, and specifically problems "in such basic areas as compliance with the mandate laid down in Canon 812 for those who teach theological disciplines." Are you listening USF? Reverend Pizzuto?

On May 2 His Eminence Robert Cardinal Sarah, under the Holy Father, issued the "Theological Inspiration of the New Juridical Framework of Caritas Internationalis." The document may be read here.  It is the result of years of work, and reflects the Holy Father's concern that "Catholic" organizations be faithful to the teaching of the Church.

On May 12, the Tablet, UK reported on a commentary Cardinal Sarah gave May 3 in L'Osservatore Romano.

Cor Unum chief suggests further local Caritas reforms
Robert Mickens - 12 May 2012

Cardinal Robert Sarah, whose Vatican office recently gained sweeping powers over the operations of Caritas Internationalis (CI), has suggested that bishops around the world impose similar controls over their own local and national Caritas agencies. This would include Cafod, the aid organisation of the Church in England and Wales.

The cardinal, who heads the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, implied that the 2 May implementation of new Vatican-imposed statutes for the Rome-based CI office might be a first step in a wider reform of the Caritas confederation at national level.

“This juridical corpus [for CI] does not per se concern the national Caritas organisations, which maintain their autonomy and depend on their respective ordinaries. But it could inspire the bishops and the episcopal conferences eventually to revise the statutes of their diocesan or national Caritas agencies,” the cardinal wrote in a commentary published in the 3 May issue of L’Osservatore Romano.

In the case of Caritas Internationalis, the new statutes and a fresh set of internal regu­lations stipulate that Cor Unum must approve its statements, its budget and expenditure, contracts with other non-governmental ­organisations and its hiring of personnel. In a similar way, the more than 160 national members of the Caritas confederation, such as Cafod and Catholic Charities USA, could face analogous regulations if their bishops’ conferences adopt the cardinal’s suggestion.

Since Pope Benedict XVI took office in 2005, the Vatican has increasingly exerted pressure on church organisations, such as CI, to strengthen their Catholic identity and to help them become more explicit instruments of evangelisation.

One way the new CI statutes will ensure this is through a more careful selection of employees who profess and faithfully live out the Vatican’s teachings on faith and morals. Such scrutiny, if applied at local and national levels, could have repercussions for current hiring practices"

"Repercussions for current hiring practices."

That is something sorely needed, (Brian Cahill comes to mind) and God bless and guide the Holy Father and Cardinal Sarah as they put this into practice.

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