VATICAN CITY, AUG. 22, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The papal foundation set up to help Indian, African-American and mestizo peasant communities in Latin America and the Caribbean has allocated almost $2 million this year to projects of integral development.
The figure was disclosed in a statement published by the “Populorum Progressio” Foundation, which summarized the conclusions of its administrative council’s meeting held in the Archdiocese of Guadalajara last month.
“Of the 259 projects studied, the council approved 221, which entail a total amount of U.S. $1,843,250,” explained the statement published by the Vatican press office.
“A good part of the funding comes from the generous contribution of Italian Catholics, through the Committee of Charitable Aid for the Third World of the Italian episcopal conference,” the statement continued. The foundation said it has allocated about $17 million since its founding in 1992.
With these allocations, the Church tries to offer a “gesture of solidaristic love toward the most marginalized and needy, such as the poor peasant communities of Latin America and the Caribbean, whether indigenous, mestizo or African-American,” the Vatican statement said.
Funding was approved for projects in the production sector, communal infrastructure (such as potable water, fences, latrines and communal halls) and construction of schools, homes and health centers. Funds were also approved for education.
Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, archbishop of Guadalajara, a member of the foundation’s administrative council and the meeting’s host, described it as a preparatory event in the framework of the International Eucharistic Congress, planned for October 2004 in Guadalajara.
The Mexican government and the country’s episcopal conference have invited the Pope to participate in that congress.