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Rome Reports

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The role of Caritas amid poverty and persecution

More than 300 people from all over the world traveled to Rome to take part in the general assembly of Caritas. It's the main charity arm of the Catholic Church and this meeting takes place every four years.  Caritas Internationalis deals with all types of issues. From helping out with food and housing to education. Recently helping a growing number of persecuted Christians in the Middle East and victims of war is also on the list.  GEORGE AKIL Caritas Jordan "Yes, dramatic. So you have altogether 1.5 million Syrians in Jordan, on top of the newly arriving Iraqi refugees.â?  GULZAR AMJAD Caritas Pakistan "So I would say generally in Pakistan the situation is very bad, particularly with respect to the Christian minority I would say.  The fear of the persecution and of discrimination that is being observed.Lately we have experienced in Pakistan two bombers who attacked the Church before Sunday Mass.â? The general assembly will conclude on May 17th. One of the issues that will be touched on is the Pope's next encyclical, which deals with the environment and also the stark social inequality seen in many countries.  ROSA INÉS FLORIANO Caritas Colombia "The meeting has highlighted a very important point about the identity, mission and the spirituality of Caritas. It's something we cannot lose sight of. At it's very core, we have to have Jesus and His mercy. Our goal is to be God's caress to the poor and the most  vulnerable.â?  Even non Catholic leaders like the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon submitted a message to show support. Throughout the five day meeting, delegates from different countries have shared their own experiences of working for Caritas out on the ground.  The meeting started off with a Papal Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. Even though the meeting ends on May 17th, there will be a so called 'Caritas Day' on May 19th in Milan's World EXPO.  JRB/KLH  AA VM -PR Up: MPI #Mundo