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Caritas' new secretary general: our job is not only to help, but suffer with those who suffer


Very few places in the world do not have the help and assistance the Church offers through Caritas.

This Catholic organization is not only present in places during times of crisis or emergencies, but remain when others leave. Caritas is there to help people rebuild their lives and restore dignity when they have lost everything.

ALOYSIUS JOHN
Secretary General, Caritas Internationalis
“The agenda of Caritas is not just helping and doing a bit. The work of Caritas is to be with the poor and be a Church which suffers with the poor. At the same time, it is there to help the poor to live a dignified life. This is because the poor are made in the image of God; and the work of Caritas is to help them to live this dignified vocation as a human person.”

This is the challenge for Aloysius John, the new Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis. He will now lead the more than 160 Caritas delegations from around the world. They work to alleviate poverty, respond to migration; combat and raise awareness about global issues.

ALOYSIUS JOHN
Secretary General, Caritas Internationalis
“Caritas Internationalis is highly concerned about the different problems in the world. For example, climate change, is one of the biggest injustices.”

According to the new Secretary General, climate change also generates more problems, such as forced migration.

ALOYSIUS JOHN
Secretary General, Caritas Internationalis
“They come to the European countries like Italy and France. However, when these people come they are not well received. This is one key area of concern for us. This because migrants live a life of injustice and are victims of injustice. At the same time, when they come here they are unjustly treated. So this is another key concern for Caritas.”

For this reason, the organization is a prophetic voice denouncing and showing charity goes beyond just offering material help.

ALOYSIUS JOHN
Secretary General, Caritas Internationalis
“It is not just a question of giving fish to a man who is hungry. It is also teaching him how to fish. However, this is not enough, you must go further. This is because you must create conditions so he can have fish for the rest his life. This is where the work of advocacy, the work of sensitizing the public opinion, the work of challenging decision makers to say 'now how many of you contribute to help people to live in dignity.' Sometimes politicians are responsible. So we need to challenge them and say, 'now these people have to live a dignified life; and what is your responsibility as duty holders before them?'”

In June, Pope Francis received all the members of Caritas in Rome. He reminded them there can be no true charity without a personal relationship with the poor. This is because charity is false if it does not come from the heart and soul. For the next four years, Aloysius John will have the duty to help lead this charitable arm of the Church.