Meeting With NGOs Is a 1st at Vatican

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 30, 2007 ( Top Vatican officials will meet with Catholic nongovernmental organizations for the first time this weekend to discuss best practices for cooperating on topics of global importance.

The Vatican reported that 85 civil society associations will take part in the encounter, organized by the Pope’s Secretariat of State. According to a Vatican communiqué, the participating organizations all “have as a point of reference the evangelical teaching and social doctrine of the Church.”

Nongovernmental organizations, also known as NGOs, are legally constituted entities directed by private citizens with no participation or representation of any government. They often work as advocates of social causes such as human rights, poverty and religious freedom.

The notes states that the meeting “deals with an important moment of reciprocal knowledge, as well as an outstanding occasion for promoting dialogue and cooperation of the nongovernmental organizations among themselves and with the Holy See about current global themes and about the challenges and opportunities they imply.”

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Pope’s secretary of state, Archbishop Dominic Mamberti, secretary for relations with states, and Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer to the United Nations, will all address the meeting.

XVI will receive the participants in audience Saturday.

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