Caritas Internationalis Has Its 1st Lay President

VATICAN CITY, MAY 23, 2005 ( Denis Viénot, president of Caritas-Europe, has become the first layman to be named president of Caritas Internationalis, the confederation of Catholic aid organizations.

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The organization’s executive council elected Viénot last Wednesday, to succeed the late Maronite Archbishop Fouad El-Hage of Tripoli, Lebanon, reported Vatican Radio.

The Paris-born president of Caritas Internationalis had headed Caritas-Europe since 1999.

In accepting the post, Viénot, 59, said that he will continue with Caritas’ commitment to the weakest.

Since last November, Caritas Internationalis has had a «public canonical juridical personality,» linking it more closely to the person of the Pope and to the Holy See.

Caritas Internationalis brings together 162 local Catholic relief, development and social service organizations.

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