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Visit of Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes

IV General Assembly of Caritas Russia

January 17-19, 2005


      On January 17-19, 2005, the President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum took part in the IV General Assembly of Caritas Russia, accompanied by the Undersecretary.

      Caritas Russia holds a General Assembly every three years.  Bishops from the four Russian Dioceses, as well as Diocesan Directors, were present, together with various other Caritas leaders and representatives of European organizations.

      The principal presenters included the Bishop of Novosibirsk, who is President of Caritas Russia, the President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, and Mr. M. Wanders of Caritas Europa. 

      In both 1993 and 1998, Cor Unum invited the Apostolic Administrators of the Russian Federation and several other Republics from the former Soviet Union to Rome in order to encourage the strengthening of both the activities and the structures of Caritas in their respective countries.

      In a territory larger than China and the United States combined, and among an Orthodox majority, the most important task of the Caritas offices is to reach the greatest number of needy persons without losing the enthusiasm of the first Christians.  It was to this theme of "Christian Identity in Charitable Activity" that Archbishop Cordes devoted his presentation.  At the conclusion, the Archbishop of the Cathedral of the great Mother of God in Moscow expressed his thanks for Archbishop Cordes' emphasis on the ecclesial aspect of Caritas' organization.