Shake-up in Rome does not affect local Caritas

 Work continues for Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand despite a shake-up that has seen the suspension of secretary-general Aloysius John and other top officers of Caritas Internationalis. 

Caritas president Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle has also lost his position, although he has been tasked to assist the incoming temporary administrator, Dr Pier Francesco Pinelli. 

In a decree issued on November 22, Pope Francis directed Cardinal Tagle to “deal particularly with the local churches and member organisations of Caritas Internationalis”. 

In the meantime, Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has given an assurance that the changes “will have no impact” on its ongoing work.  

In a statement posted on its Facebook page, the local Caritas said: “Importantly, Caritas Internationalis is a confederation. This means that each constituent national organisation is managed and governed independently of the CI leadership. Accordingly, these changes will have no impact on existing operations, commitments or governance of Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand.”  

Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 162 Catholic relief, development and social service organisations, operates in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.  

The Pope said he was putting it under temporary administration in order to improve its management norms and procedures. The decision followed a review by an independent panel. 

Cardinal Tagle stressed that the reorganisation was the result of “a careful and independent study” that does not concern cases of sexual abuse or mismanagement of money but is meant to be “a call to walk humbly with God” and “a process of discernment”. 

The Filipino cardinal, who was supposed to finish his second term in May 2023, read the papal decree at Caritas Internationalis’ plenary meeting in Rome. 

Vatican News quoted Cardinal Tagle as acknowledging that the “news might be a bit disturbing or confusing to some of you. But rest assured that this decision of the Holy Father came after a careful and independent study of the working environment of the secretariat and the governance exercised by responsible persons and bodies”. 

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand said it is looking “forward to seeing further improvements to the way that CI operates”.  

“In the meantime, we carry on with the work we do with and on behalf of the poor and vulnerable communities we serve in Aotearoa, the Oceania region and beyond,” the organisation said. 

Posted in

Rowena Orejana

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *