VATICAN CITY, MAY 9, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is a description of the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships, which appears in the Directory of International Associations of the Faithful, published by the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
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Official name: Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships
Also Known as: Catholic Fraternity
History: The Catholic Fraternity was created at the initiative of a number of Catholic Charismatic Communities belonging to the International Brotherhood of Communities — an ecumenical association of largely Catholic communities — that felt the need to affirm their identity within Charismatic Renewal, strengthen their links with the Church and deepen their communion with the Successor of Peter.
A decisive role was played in its constitution by its first president, the Australian Brian Smith, and the Texan Bobbie Kavnar. On Nov. 30, 1990, the Pontifical Council for the Laity decreed recognition of the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships as an international association of the faithful of pontifical right.
Identity: The Catholic Fraternity is made up of Catholic Charismatic Communities, and strives to identify with the saving mission of the Church in communion with the Pope.
This is pursued by encouraging member communities to remain faithful to the charisms given to them by the Spirit to build up and renew the Body of Christ, and helping them to become more keenly aware of their membership of the Catholic Church; guaranteeing that they fully comply with the teaching and the magisterium of the Church, particularly with regard to ecclesiology, the centrality of the sacraments, and devotion to Our Lady and the saints; promoting initiatives and programs for evangelization; cooperating with other ecclesial communities and movements; working for authentic ecumenism, consistent with the guidelines of the Catholic Church.
Organization: The Catholic Fraternity is not a hierarchically structured ecclesial movement, but a federation of communities and associations, recognized by their local bishops, which contribute to building up the one Church of Christ, in respect for their different charisms.
It has no legal authority over the member communities, but solely pastoral and spiritual responsibility toward them, in order to strengthen their Catholic identity. The representative body is the council, made up of the delegates of the member communities, chaired by the president, meeting at least once every two years.
Within the council there is the executive, made up of two representatives from each continent and delegates of other regions or constituent parts of Catholic Fraternity.
Membership: The Catholic Fraternity comprises 51 communities and associations in 14 countries. They are in six countries in Europe, three in South America, two in Asia, two in North America, and one in Oceania.
Works: The member communities of the Catholic Fraternity have established schools of theology and pastoral work; radio and television stations for evangelization; spiritual retreat houses; educational and catechetical projects for street children; specific programs to provide material and spiritual aid to the elderly, immigrants, the sick and the unemployed; primary and secondary schools; homes for the poor; assistance programs for prisoners and their families; programs to prevent abortion and assist expectant mothers, and international missions in Africa, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Sabah and Indonesia.
The members are also committed to evangelization programs for young people and young adults in parishes, schools and universities.
Publications: Catholic Fraternity International, a newsletter published three times a year in English.
Web site: www.catholicfraternity.net
Headquarters: Catholic Fraternity
Via San Tommaso d’Aquino, 10/d – loc. 4
70124 Sari, Italy
Tel. [+39] 080.5099753 — Fax 080.5619207
E-mail: [email protected]
© Copyright 2006 — Libreria Editrice Vaticana [adapted]