Caritas Remembers Seventy Years of Fighting Poverty

December 13 Conference at Pontifical Urbanian University

Seventy Years of Fighting Poverty
Zambia © Caritas Zambia

Seventy years of fighting poverty. This is the title of the conference organized by Caritas Internationalis on December 13, 2021, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Pontifical Urbanian University, on the occasion of its 70th anniversary and the launch of the new global campaign Together we – act today for a better tomorrow.

It will be a moment to retrace the seven decades of the Confederation, which brings together 162 national Caritas organizations and which serves the poor and the most vulnerable in 200 countries and territories. It was in fact on 12 December 1951 that the Constitutive Assembly of Caritas Internationalis met in Rome to give concrete form to Pope Pius XII’s wish to create a coordinating body to address the humanitarian needs that emerged at the end of the Second World War and provide assistance to the victims of the conflict. But it will also be a time to look at the future through the launch of a new global campaign, Together we, inspired by the encyclicals Laudato si’ and Fratelli Tutti and focused on creating communities of care for our Common Home and the poor and most vulnerable suffering the consequences of social and environmental degradation. “The new name for poverty is the ecological crisis, and as Caritas, our work will continue through caring for the millions of people suffering the consequences of climate change and in promoting ecological conversion,” explains Aloysius John, Secretary-General of Caritas Internationalis. The global campaign will last until 2024.

The Seventy Years of Fighting Poverty conference will be broadcast live on the Vatican News Youtube channel in four different languages: English, French, Spanish and Italian (see below for related links). The first two interventions will focus on Caritas Internationalis’ 70 years of witness and promotion of integral human development and will be given by Cardinal Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and President of Caritas Internationalis, and by Francesca Di Giovanni, undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs in the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State.

There will be followed by a moment of reflection on The ecological crisis as the new name of poverty, through the presentations of Aloysius John, Secretary-General of Caritas Internationalis, Cardinal Soane Patita Paini Mafi, Bishop of Tonga and Niue and President of Caritas Oceania, and Paolo Beccegato, Vice Director of Caritas Italiana.

At the end of the first part of the morning, the Italian Christian rock band The Sun will perform live on stage the song Il mio miglior difetto (The best of all my flaws), inspired by the encyclical Laudato si’ and chosen by Caritas Internationalis as the official song of the Together we campaign.

The conference will conclude with a round table discussion on the theme How to continue the journey of Caritas Internationalis in synodality?, with the participation of Cardinal Mario Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio in Syria, Sr. Nathalie Becquart, Undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops, Monsignor Pierre Cibambo, ecclesiastical assistant of Caritas Internationalis, and Ingrid Saavedra, head of communication of Caritas Chile.

The conference will be moderated by Marta Petrosillo, Director of Fundraising, Public Relations and Communication of Caritas Internationalis.

Below are the links to follow the conference live on the Vatican News Youtube channels in different languages:

English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYS0Jam8qSo

Italian: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es3Gr3eWoIQ

Spanish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M379IEKPl-I

French: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxTsdxSY1Z0