Vatican Aide to Attend Catholic Charities Meeting

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 7, 2001 ( The president of the Pontifical Council «Cor Unum» will attend the annual meeting of Catholic Charities next Monday in Newark, New Jersey.

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The Vatican Press Office announced today that Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes will speak to 600 delegates of the U.S. dioceses on the topic «What Characterizes Christian Charity?»

Catholic Charities is the U.S. bishops´ charitable organization which assists the country´s needy.

In 1999 this organization helped 9.5 million people, spending $2.2 billion in programs of assistance. It has 50,488 full-time employees and close to 200,000 volunteers.

The Vatican statement said that poverty has increased in the United States. In 1999 Catholic Charities gave food to «3.5 million people, an increase of 32% compared to the previous year.»

«In such a wealthy country, the Church wishes its contribution to be a concrete sign of charity, by identifying man´s real needs,» the Vatican statement said. «In this connection, the president of ´Cor Unum´ will not hesitate to give his support and encouragement to the many Catholics committed in this sector.»

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