On Friday Papa Benedetto addressed those assembled for the Caritas International gathering in Rome. In his talk he made it clear that there are certain values that absolutely MUST be upheld. Not only must they be upheld, they must be promoted. He said"(A)ll Catholics, and indeed all men and women, are called to act with purified consciences and generous hearts in resolutely promoting those values which I have often referred to as ‘non-negotiable’.”
Those values were mentioned in "Sacramentum Caritatis
". There he said that those "non negotiable
" values include "respect for human life, its defence from conception to natural death, the family built upon marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one’s children and the promotion of the common good in all its forms
His address follows up on the one given by Cardinal Sarah
that reminded those participating that what they do must bring people to Christ. In other words, they must evangelize as a part of their work.
These 2 addresses come after some pre-Assembly actions that made it clear that it is time for Caritas & its affiliated groups like Development + Peace (D+P) in Canada & the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) in the USA to clean up their act. 1 of those 2 actions was the refusal
by the Vatican to grant the current Caritas General Secretary, Lesley-Anne Knight, the “nihil obstat
” (“nothing obstructs”) declaration required for candidates to be eligible for the office. Apparently part of the reason is a statement she made in an interview
with the Non-Catholic Reporter. In it she suggested that the millions of dollars the organization receives from Western governments could be jeopardized if they become too explicitly Catholic. Not a good thing to say given the Vatican wants groups that call themselves Catholic to be truly Catholic.
In the interview she also asked “Does the Holy See actually know what Caritas is doing?” IMHO the answer is yes, they do. & they don't like what they see. 1 of those things they didn't like was 1 of the people invited to speak. The speaker was Fr. Timothy Radcliffe a former head of the Dominican order. He was set to deliver the keynote opening address last Monday. Before the document banning homosexuals in the priesthood came out, Fr. Radcliffe wrote an article for the London Times. In it he said “If it were to contain such a ban, which is highly unlikely, most Catholics, at least in the West, would find it unacceptable. Any deep-rooted prejudice against others, such as homophobia or misogyny, would be grounds for rejecting a candidate for the priesthood, but not their sexual orientation.” Any wonder the Vatican said "NO!" to his speaking to the assembly? If I were in charge at the Vatican I wouldn't want someone giving the keynote address who is working to undermine authentic Catholic teaching & Church discipline.
I am sure that behind the scenes there has been a lot of grumbling about what the Vatican is doing to make it clear that it is time to clean things up. & while most of what has been done has been indirect, it is clear the Vatican isn't going to sit back & let things go on as they have in the past. Either Caritas, D+P, CCHD & other groups clean up their act & become truly Catholic or they face direct intervention by the Vatican, & that may include their being shut down. Hopefully the Bishops' conferences will start getting the message. I'm not holding my breath however. The way I see it, it is going to take a major scandal that forces the Vatican to step in with some group that will force the other Bishops' conferences to do something before they are next.
In the meantime I would suggest that Caritas et al
, go back & reread (or more likely actually read) Papa Benedetto's Caritas in veritate
to get a clearer idea of how they should be operating.
You can read Papa Benedetto's complete address to the Caritas General Assembly here
Labels: Cardinal Sarah, D+P Scandal, Reform CCHD