Caritas Concludes General Assembly

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 13, 2007 ( The 18th General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis concluded with the delegates pledging to continue as witnesses of charity and builders of peace.

After their weeklong meeting, Benedict XVI thanked the Caritas delegates for their grass-roots service, saying: “Your confederation does not simply work on behalf of the Church, but is truly part of the Church, intimately engaged in the exchange of gifts that takes place on so many levels of ecclesial life.

“The greatest challenges facing the world at the present time, such as globalization, human rights abuses, unjust social structures, cannot be confronted and overcome unless attention is focused on the deepest needs of the human person: the promotion of human dignity, well-being, and in the final analysis, eternal salvation.”

The Caritas delegates reported a renewed conviction that faith in Christ needs to be put into action in a world where a child dies every three seconds because of poverty.

The delegates also said the General Assembly reconfirmed that unity and subsidiarity are not opposing forces.

Caritas members agreed to fund tools of coordination, advocacy, and communication, to streamline their fight against poverty.

Caritas Internationalis is a confederation of 162 Catholic relief, development and social service organizations.