Church´s Credibility Linked to Charitable Acts, Says Cor Unum Leader

MURCIA, Spain, FEB. 25, 2002 ( The Catholic Church´s credibility depends to a large extent on the charitable and loving action of Christians, says the president of the Pontifical Council «Cor Unum.»

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«Christian volunteer work stems from the experience of the love of Christ,» said Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, who is responsible for the Church´s charitable and aid programs.

He spoke Sunday at the closing Mass of a congress on «Charity and Volunteer Work for the Third Millennium,» organized by the Catholic University of St. Anthony in Murcia, in collaboration with «Cor Unum.»

Some 6,000 people attended this international summit of volunteers, which included representatives of nongovernmental organizations and confessional and non-confessional organizations.

In his homily, Archbishop Cordes emphasized that the identity of Christian volunteers stems from the experience of Jesus´ transfiguration, «who comes down from Tabor to enter the depths of ordinary life.»

The German archbishop added: «There is a great tendency to secularization in humanitarian associations, including on the part of lucrative enterprises that have realized their profitability and the fact that they can make money with this.»

In this connection, he said: «People want to give money to those who define themselves, and Christianity must show its identity in the important aid agencies in order to be recognizable and at the same time differentiated.»

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