SYDNEY, NOV. 24, 2009 ( Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, is in Australia this week to speak about the importance of the Church's works of charity.

A communiqué sent Monday by the council, which is responsible for the direction of Catholic aid agencies, confirmed that the cardinal was invited by the bishops of Australia to address the plenary assembly of the episcopal conference, which is being held this week in Sydney.

The note stated that Cardinal Cordes, who will be in Australia through Sunday, aims to "reinforce the Catholic Church's witness in the realm of charity."
The cardinal "will reflect together with the pastors on the teachings of the encyclical 'Deus Caritas Est' in the light of the different experiences of the local churches," the note affirmed.
He will also give a conference on this encyclical of Benedict XVI at the Australian Catholic University.
In addition, "during his trip, Cardinal Cordes will address the topic of the different dimensions of charity also in meetings with priests, seminarians, agents of charitable associations and some representatives of lay associations," adds the communiqué.
Last February, on receiving Timothy Andrew Fischer, the new Australian ambassador to the Holy See, Benedict XVI said that "the Church's involvement with civil society is anchored in her conviction that human progress -- both individual as well as community -- depends on the recognition of the supernatural vocation of every person."
"It is from God that men and women receive their essential dignity and the capacity to seek truth and goodness," he added. "'With this ample perspective we can counteract the tendencies to pragmatism and consequentialism, which prevail today, and which only address the symptoms and effects of conflicts, of social fragmentation and ambiguity, instead of going to their roots."