Network Seeks to Wed Charity and Truth

International Group Responds to Pope’s Call

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ROME, DEC. 7, 2010 ( A network of movements and organizations is aiming to respond to Benedict XVI’s call to rediscover the Christian meaning of social service.

Called CiVI, Caritas in Veritate International, the group is named after the Pope’s latest encyclical.

The network seeks to “recruit, form and send young volunteers supplied with material aid for works of charity and spiritual support to areas of humanitarian crisis along with the message of truth,” organizers explained at a meeting in Rome with ZENIT.

The network is rooted in a group of international movements in the Church called Youth Arise International, which began in the early 90s.

In 2000, the same network of leaders came together to form a new organization: Partnership for China, an international effort establishing parish-based communities of faith in China.

“Inspired by the encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI, ‘Deus Caritas Est,’ and by the great need to combine the message of the Gospel with works of charity, many leaders of existing interrelated organizations, decide now to network their efforts, and founded Caritas in Veritate International,” Henry Cappello, CiVI president and CEO, told ZENIT. Cappello has for the last 18 years been the president and executive director of Youth Arise International.

Caritas in Veritate International has, as a main component, the Arise Leadership programs, the Partnership for China ministries, the Office of Caritas and Canon Law, the Deus Caritas Est Academy of Formation, and the Caritas Village in Haiti.


Cappello explained one of CiVI’s projects: helping earthquake-scourged Haiti.

“To address the most crucial need in Haiti, that is to help the 1.3 million displaced children and adults living in tents, without proper sanitation, clean water, food, or security, CiVI has launched the Tents to Homes project,” he said. “Through this effort, 500 families who presently are living in tents will be given a home. In this village, there will be a church, a school, a center for the abused, and a center for missionaries. Many are invited to collaborate on this pilot project combining the message of the Gospel and works of charity.”

CIVI will also be engaged in another effort for the New Evangelization, cooperating with Jesuit Father Robert Spitzer and the Magis Center of Reason and Faith in Orange County, California.

They will be working on the international version of Father Spitzers’ approach to intellectual evangelization in the areas of physics, philosophy of mathematics, metaphysics, and historical exegesis showing the latest evidence for the existence of God and the historicity of Jesus.

CiVI is being oriented with spiritual advisers including Cardinal Paul Cordes, retired president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum; Archbishop Alberto Taveira Corrêa of Belem do Para, Brazil; Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, Arizona; Bishop Joseph Grech of Sandhurst, Australia; and Bishop Sam Jacobs of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana.

The former prime minister and president of Malta, Edward Fenech Adami, is the honorary president.

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