Cardinal Tagle is new President of Caritas Internationalis
ROME –Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila in the Philippines, was elected new President of Caritas Internationalis at the 20th General Assembly of the Confederation in Rome. He replaces Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga who is stepping down after serving two terms, and who also offered his congratulations and warm support.
Following his election, Cardinal Tagle spoke by telephone to the delegates from over 130 member organizations worldwide, “Buona sera a tutti! Thank you for your trust. I am limited in my capacities but with all of you, with the love that Jesus has poured into our hearts and in the name of all of the poor people in the world, I accept this election.” “Let us together strengthen the church of the poor so our witness can help guide us to a world of understanding justice, true freedom and peace.”
Cardinal Tagle is the first Caritas Internationalis President to be elected from Asia.
In October 2011, the then newly appointed young Archbishop of Manila came on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. While in Jerusalem, he met with Patriarch Fouad Twal and Father David Neuhaus, Patriarchal Vicar for the Hebrew speaking Catholics and Pastoral Coordination for Migrants, and discussed the situation and pastoral care of migrants and Filipino workers in particular, which each year represents a growing challenge for the local Church as the number migrants continues to grow.
The Church has worked alongside the poor throughout its history. In 1897, the first ever Caritas was founded in Germany. Out of the suffering of two world wars the need for national Catholic humanitarian organizations was perceived and Caritas began to grow in North America and Europe. In 1951, thirteen Caritas members gathered in Rome for the first time, inspired by the vision of the future Pope Paul VI. More national Caritas organizations were then established and joined together under Caritas Internationalis. The Church describes Caritas as its official voice ““in relation to its teachings in the area of charity work.” The organization then has continued to expand to various locations around the world.
In 1967, Caritas Jerusalem, Jordan and Syria were founded and emergency assistance were sent to victims of conflict in the Middle East. Caritas is present in the Holy Land and continues to respond to the overwhelming social services and medical needs, development of the local community, serving people of every creed and origin.
Myriam Ambroselli with www.caritas.org