Leadership issues for Caritas Internationalis

February 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

According to a Catholic News Service story, the Vatican has prevented the secretary-general of Caritas  Internationalis, Lesley-Anne Knight, from seeking a second four-year term, denying her the “nihil obstat” necessary to seek another term. It doesn’t appear that the Church has anything in particular against Ms. Knight. Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, the Vatican’s charity promotion agency and its liaison with Caritas Internationalis, told reporters that the organization simply faces  “new challenges” include revising the Caritas statutes, strengthening its Catholic identity and working more closely with the Vatican, challenges which they feel would be better faced by an individual other than Ms. Knight.

I hope Ms. Knight finds a fulfilling role in the organization, and that Caritas Internationalis continues to do Christ’s work in the world. Many years ago while living in Austin, Texas, there was a stretch of about two years where circumstances forced me to take advantage of the organization’s services. Caritas in Austin primarily runs a soup kitchen, which serves a hot meal to several hundred people, five or six days a week. I thank God for the charity shown by this organization, charity that their very name invokes, and which literally saved my life. Besides the soup kitchen, Caritas in Austin offered employment services, counseling, referrals to several different specialty agencies, and other services, many of which I took advantage of and am eternally grateful for.

The charity practiced by Catholics and the Church cannot be outdone by any other Christian organization. It is the catholic Church which is the largest organized force for good in this world, and the caring, selfless service of the many fine staff and volunteers at organizations like Caritas Internationalis not only provided me with life-saving help in my time of need, but also helped lead me to “swim the Tiber” so that I might be a part of such a wonderful Church. I pray that Caritas might continue to be such a blessing in the world, and that they might help lead more souls to Christ by their works in this world.

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