VATICAN CITY, OCT. 31, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The president of the Vatican council that oversees the Church’s charitable activities will visit the United States to talk of the theology of charity with the nations’ bishops and social leaders.
Cardinal Paul Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, will be in the United States from Nov. 3 to 10, at the invitation of the U.S. episcopal conference. The prelates will have their plenary assembly in Baltimore, Maryland, Nov. 10-13.
The cardinal and directors of Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services will be studying some of the theological elements in Benedict XVI’s first encyclical, “Deus Caritas Est.” He is also scheduled to give conferences on the theme in the Archdioceses of New York; Denver, Colorado; and Newark, New Jersey.
Cardinal Cordes will also receive an honorary doctorate from Seton Hall University, the nation’s oldest diocesan university.
“The aim of the visit is to share experiences in the field of Catholic charity,” the cardinal said in a press release today. “From the nation’s very beginnings, the Church has been at the forefront of providing for those in need both within and outside the United States. Today, there are new challenges and opportunities given the rapidly changing demographic and social fabric.
“The mission of ‘diakonia’ [service] remains indispensable both for the poor and the very essence of the Church. Since ‘diakonia’ is one of the three missions of the Church, the ministry of the bishop or local ordinary is primordial: Indeed, the ultimate responsibility for charitable action is his.”