Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cardinal Robert Sarah - Charity Without Evangelization Isn't True Charity

This isn't going to sit too well with those who have tried to ignore the fact that the Catholic Church exists to evangelize & that all her activies must be aimed at doing just that. Pope Paul VI made it clear in his post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiani. It has been repeated time & time again by both Blessed John Paul the Great & Papa Benedetto.

Throughout history we have seen that lived out by those saints who founded hospitals, started schools, provided for the poor, etc. At the heart of their efforts was bringing Jesus to those whom they ministered to.

Unfortunately, over the past 40 years that idea has been tossed out by those who saw relativism as the guiding light, not authentic Catholic doctrine. & that is why we have seen so many of the scandals involving Development + Peace (D+P) in Canada & the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) in the USAamong others.

I am sure this speech of the Cardinal's didn't sit well with those in attendance who want to maintain relativism as the guiding light of their charitable deeds. But they had better realize that the Vatican is getting serious about what is being done in the name of the Catholic Church. It MUST uphold Catholic identity as well as Catholic teaching, including issues like abortion. Both CCHD & D+P are affiliated with Caritas International. & representatives from the group attending this Assembly. Whether they got the message remains to be seen. (Although as this LifeSiteNews opinion piece points out, D+P is still playing the same old games.) For now, I suspect the Vatican is giving the US & Canadian Bishops a chance to clean things up. But it is clear that the Vatican isn't going to sit still forever. & if something substanstitive isn't done, then the Vatican will likely take some more direct steps to ensure things are cleaned up.

Vatican Cardinal warns of ‘silent apostasy’; says Catholic charities must evangelize

ROME, May 25, 2011 ( - In an address to the General Assembly of Caritas International today, Cardinal Robert Sarah, who heads the Vatican dicastery dealing with the church’s charitable institutions, stressed that the main mission of all Church groups, charitable groups included, was to bring people to Christ. “Today, dear Friends, the tragedy of modern mankind is not lacking clothing and housing. The most tragic hunger and the most terrible anguish is not lack of food,” he said. “It’s much more about the absence of God and the lack of true love, the love that was revealed to us on the Cross.”

Cardinal Robert Sarah
The assembly comes at a time of major restructuring for Catholic charities which especially in the West have been beset by loss of Catholic identity. Funding of questionable groups by the charitable arms of the Canadian, American, British, French and Austrian Catholic Bishops conferences have had many Catholics calling for change. While Bishops in these nations have been working toward reform, the Vatican is working to reform the umbrella group for them all - Caritas Internationalis. LifeSiteNews reported in February that the General Secretary of Caritas was not permitted to stand for a second term in office due to concerns about ‘Catholic identity’ among other issues.
Cardinal Sarah added, “Regarding coordination with the charitable organisations of the Church … it is not merely philanthropic and humanitarian assistance aimed at relieving a certain kind of distress, but also and above all it entails giving back to human persons all their dignity as children of God, and promoting an anthropology that also encompasses the religious dimension of human persons, namely their encounter with God.”
Cardinal Sarah quoted both Popes John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI decrying the “religious indifference, secularisation and atheism” of the West.
“Together with enormous material, scientific and technological progress, the West is now experiencing a serious moral regression and a gradual “silent apostasy”, he said.
“Undoubtedly, since the beginning of his papacy, Pope Benedict XVI has considered this ‘religious indifference’ and ‘silent apostasy’ as the major challenge the Church has to take up today in her relations with the modern world. Therefore, he is more determined than ever to make our minds more aware and our faith more visible and more active, in order to show the world that the Church’s mission is deeply rooted in faith in God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”
While some in Catholic development agencies have argued for a hands-off approach of fostering good works undertaken even by agencies at odds with the Catholic Church to end the structures of poverty and oppression, the Cardinal took a different approach. “I believe it is important to understand that our charitable organisations are located within the Church and not alongside her,” he said. “A Caritas that wasn’t an ecclesial expression would have no meaning or existence. The Church cannot be considered as a partner of Catholic organisations. They are the organisations that take part in her mission.”
A recent debate over whether or not groups in the developing world should have the approval of local bishops prior to their receiving funding from Catholic charities in the West seems also to have been answered by the Cardinal. “So it is necessary that charitable organisations are really able to work in full communion and deep connection with the local bishop,” he said, “and in accordance with pastoral guidelines, in order to be fully integrated within the mission of the Church. “
See the full address here

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