Venezuelan refugees assisted by the Colombian Red Cross 

By Vatican News

Jun 24 2023

Pope Francis sends a message to participants in a meeting between Latin American ecclesial aid institutions and organisations reminding them never to take the “essence of Christianity” for granted.

Latin America requires solidarity in order to “evangelise the geographical and existential peripheries” and “to respond to the needs of the poorest and most excluded in society,” Pope Francis writes in a message addressed to participants in a meeting between Church aid institutions and agencies at the Rome-based Pontifical Commission for Latin America.

Collaboration between Catholic aid organizations

One of the tasks of the Commission, the Pope adds, is “to financially support evangelisation projects”, “deal with emergency situations and promote significant activities for the Church in the area of its competence”.

He notes that within the reform put into motion by Praedicate Evangelium he chose to maintain the Commission’s status within the new structure of the curia, preserving the intuition that Pius XII had in 1958 when he established the Pontifical Commission for Latin America that is able to count on the collaboration of a number of humanitarian organizations, each with its own nature and mission, which share a Catholic identity.

Beyond efficiency and a big heart is the charity of Jesus Christ

This specificity, the Pope emphasises, means these organizations “must distinguish their work from that of any purely secular humanitarian organisation” and lead to a daily awareness that the Christian faith gives us the certainty of God’s love that “guides us and accompanies us in a close and constant way”.

The important thing, therefore, he continued, “is not administrative efficiency – which one hopes will, however, be very good – or “the simple humanitarian effort that comes from a generous heart”, but the charity of Jesus Christ: “our Brother, who has redeemed us; the Holy Spirit who guides the Church, creates communion and orients humanity towards its fullness”.

If this is not present, Pope Francis said, “all that remains is the cold pragmatism that ends up suffocating ecclesial institutions and their members”. – Vatican News