The Pope Francis received this lunch in audience the General Council of the Spanish Caritas on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of its foundation. During the meeting, which took place in the hall of the Consistory of the Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father recalled that “charity, Love with capital letters is the most essential feature of the human being and therefore the language that most unites us”.
“Yes Christ calls us into communion with God and with the brother, your effort is aimed precisely at capturing that unity that is sometimes lost in people and in communities”, he assured. In his short congratulatory message, Francisco reflected on the main challenges that the institution has set itself during these three quarters of a century: “working from the abilities and potential accompanying the processes”, “carrying out meaningful actions” and “a channel for the action of the ecclesial community.
Gave up his life
Regarding the first of these challenges, the Pope recalled that “it is not the results that move us” but rather “putting ourselves before this person who is broken, welcoming him and opening paths of recovery for him so that can find herself able, despite her and our limitations, to seek her place and open herself to others and to God». “The only time it’s legal to look a person down is to help them up,” he stressed.
In relation to Caritas’ efforts to “carry out meaningful actions”, the Holy Father invited people to “give their lives”, since charity is not about “gestures that seek to get out of trouble”, but about offering people “an open door to a new life. “The Lord offers us to be the leaven of a kingdom of justice, love and peace,” he pointed out.
Regarding the mission of Caritas to be “a channel for ecclesial action”, Francis recalled that charity “is not simply an organized management of resources or a space in which to carry out the responsibility of this delicate ecclesial mission”, but to be “so extended an arm, which is Christ when we offer it to those who need us, and at the same time allows us to cling to Christ when He challenges us to the suffering of our brother”.
an example of solidarity
The President of Caritas Spain, Manuel Breton, he thanked Francis for his “example of solidarity, fight for justice and care for our common home”. “Once again I want to thank you on behalf of all of us who form Cáritas Española for your commitment to continue to promote and support our institution,” he assured.
Breton expressed his gratitude to the Holy Father for his “support” to “all the people who turn to Caritas in search of a better life, those who do not achieve it and those who, far from the borders of our country, continue to struggle to achieve decent conditions that allow them to cover their basic needs.
In his message, he recalled that during these 75 years “Caritas” has experienced difficult times. “We had to adapt, like the whole world, to the consequences of a pandemic and a war at the gates of Europe, without forgetting all those still open in the world,” he added.
Despite the scenario of increasing instability, Breton recalled that “the hope, determination, faith and unconditional support of the bishops, institutions, private donors and companies were a great incentive to try to justify the trust deposited in Caritas as a Church in its social charity action”.
With the company of Cardinal Omela
The audience was attended by the president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Juan Jose Omela; the chairman of the Episcopal Subcommittee for Charitable and Social Activities and Bishop in charge of Caritas, Jesus Fernandez; the vice president Henry Carrero; the secretary general, Natalia Peiro; episcopal delegate Vincent Martinand the presidents of the regional Caritas of Andalusia, Aragon, the Canary Islands, Castile-La Mancha, Extremadura, Castile and León, Catalonia, Galicia, Madrid, the Basque Country and Navarra and the Community of Valencia and Murcia.
Together with them were the councilors for episcopal appointment, the president of the Saint Vincent de Paul Association and the directors of Cáritas Military and the dioceses of Barcelona, Madrid, Burgos and Malaga, in addition to those responsible for the areas of cooperation, communication, administration, social action, institutional development and members of the President’s Cabinet.