Caritas leaders from around the world met in Rome to discuss the challenges their countries are facing. The Ukrainian representatives were a Greek Catholic woman and a Roman Rite priest. They demonstrated the collaborative work between the different churches in their country.
As Ukraine prepares for winter, the government has called on all citizens to minimize energy consumption.
FR. VYACHESLAV GRYNEVYCH
General Secretary, Caritas Spes Ukraine
We don't have electricity for almost the whole day. We have to be careful when managing our time and needs because, for example, if you have a heating system, if you have to cook something, you have to time it exactly.
At the same time, for example, Kherson is occupied so we have to be very cautious getting there as well.
President, Caritas Ukraine
We have a program that is working on repairing houses. The idea is to insulate as many homes as possible. That means repairing windows and doors that were broken during the war. We want to help people move back into their homes so they have a warm place to stay for the winter.
The President of Caritas Lebanon also addressed the political, economic and social crises in his nation. At the start of 2022, more than 50% of the population lived below the poverty line.
However, he was very grateful for the Pope's concern for Lebanon. Pope Francis often speaks about the country because it is an oasis of religious freedom in the Middle East. Fr. Michel Abboud says that Caritas Lebanon had a private meeting with the Pope where he demonstrated that he is well informed about the situation there.
FR. MICHEL ABBOUD
President of Caritas Lebanon
We were surprised that he knew the details of things happening in Lebanon so well. He also knows the needs Lebanon is facing.
With the Pope, we can raise our voices to the international community and ask for help at this time. Lebanon is not a poor country. It is a country that has been robbed.
The president of Caritas Latin America and the Caribbean explained that 10 million people in Venezuela are suffering from a food crisis and that they have been under the same government for 22 years. However, for him the top priority is helping bring 6 million migrants back to Venezuela to rebuild it from within.
ABP. JOSÉ LUIS AZUAJE AYALA
President, Caritas Latin America and Caribbean
The priority is the reunification of the Venezuelan family because with the crisis at hand, families have been dispersed. A father is gone and the children stay with their grandparents.
Family reunification is more of a priority than political reunification because this would also mean a series of values, of agreements, and of good treatment.... And in short, everything that is human.
In all countires where they are present, Caritas seeks to bring the dignity and justice of the Gospel to those most in need and they continue to seek allies for this work.