The organization Caritas Internationalis called to order by the Vatican

Source: FSSPX News

Mr. Michel Roy

The Frenchman Michel Roy, until now director of Plaidoyer international du Secours Catholique [International Advocacy for Catholic Aid], was appointed secretary general of Caritas Internationalis on May 26, 2011.  

He replaced the Englishwoman Lesley-Anne Knight, who had held the position for 4 years but had not received official Vatican approval to finagle a second term.  The reason is reportedly her excessively independent attitude toward the Magisterium of the Church. 

It is said that the authorities frowned on her conspicuous support for Development and Peace (see the article, “Quebec:  Association financed by donations from Catholics suspected of promoting abortion”) and, more generally, criticized her vision of humanitarian action, which was too far removed from Catholic perspectives.

While celebrating the opening Mass for the General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis on May 22, 2011, in Rome, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone exhorted the charitable organization not to lose its “Christian identity”.  The Secretary of State of the Holy See insisted several times on the “ecclesial character of the association”, on its “indispensable communion with the hierarchy of the Church”, its “renewed relations with the organs of the Holy See” as well as on the “real meaning of the Church’s charitable activities”. “The Church must not only practice charity;  she must practice charity as Christ.  Before fostering belief in a paradise on earth or defending and promoting the rights of the poorest of the poor, even in contacts with international authorities, the primordial role of Caritas is to commit itself responsibly to the service of our brethren,” he declared.

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, on the other hand, was confirmed in his position as president.  In his speech he saluted the professionalism, the deep faith and the commitment of Lesley-Anne Knight, regretting her dismissal by the Vatican, while calling on members of the organization to avoid internal divisions.

The Archbishop of Tegucigalpa in Honduras explained that “service to the poorest of the poor will be at the heart of (his) new term.”

Caritas Internationalis, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, held its general assembly in Rome from May 22 to 27.  More than 300 delegates from the 165 branches of Caritas that make up this confederation debated the topic, “One human family, zero poverty”.