Witnessing to the faith through charity
Meeting of bishops and delegates from Europe’s Bishops’ Conferences with responsibility for works of charity
Trieste, Italy, 4-6 November 2013
Like that of many charities, the Church’s charitable activity usually and unanimously finds consent in public opinion. The care of those many people in need is not mere philanthropy, or proselytism, nor least of all the fruit of a communication or marketing strategy: first of all it stems from faith. It is impossible to understand Christian charity without taking into account its intimate bond with faith in Christ and the duty to bear witness which stems from this. At the closure of the Year of Faith, and a year on from the publication of Benedict XVI’s Motu proprio Intimae Ecclesiae Natura (11.11.2012), CCEE and the Pontifical Council ‘Cor Unum’ have called a meeting in Trieste for bishops and delegates from Europe’s Bishops’ Conferences with responsibility for works of charity.
For three days (4-6 November 2013), about fifty bishops and delegates from Europe’s Bishops’ Conferences with responsibility for works of charity, brought together by CCEE’s Caritas in Veritate Commission and the Pontifical Council ‘Cor Unum’, will gather in Trieste at the invitation of the local Archbishop, Mgr Giampaolo Crepaldi, President of the afore-mentioned CCEE Commission, to reflect on the Church’s charity work and the role of the bishop.
“The Church’s charity is an expression, a necessity and response to faith in Christ, and not a separate area of the life of the church community entrusted to experts”, said Mgr Duarte da Cunha, CCEE General Secretary, adding: “Charity which stems from faith makes the human person a participant in that visceral love with which God loves every human person. God calls to us through the poor person, the forgotten, the child, the elderly or the family in need. This meeting aims to highlight how the bishop as teacher in the faith is also called to be a teacher in charity. So, the challenge is that of re-awakening in the heart of the human person touched by church charity those questions about the why of this attention, which are also at the basis of evangelisation understood as witness of faith and charity, as Pope Francis often recalls”.
In Trieste, the keynote addresses will be entrusted to Cardinal Robert Sarah, President of the Pontifical Council ‘Cor Unum’; to Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, Archbishop of Genoa and CCEE Vice-President; and to Mgr Giampietro Dal Toso, Secretary of the Pontifical Council ‘Cor Unum’. There will also be interventions from Professor Helmuth Free, lecturer at the University of Munich, on The obligations of ecclesial service to charity; and from Professor Heinrich Pompey, lecturer at the University of Olomuc (Czech Republic), on The theology of charity in the Motu proprio Intima Ecclesiae natura. Work will also be enriched by the testimonies from the Director of Caritas in Trieste, Fr Roberto Pasetti, and from the Albanian Ms Miranda Mulgeci Kola. The conclusions of the meeting will be entrusted to Mgr Giampaolo Crepaldi.