RELIGION AND CHARITABLE ACTIVITY
The Acts of the XXV Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, which took place in Vatican City from November 20-23, 2003, based on the theme of The Dimension of Religion in Our Charitable Activity, have just been published. As a result, more people will have access to the four presentations given during the course of the Plenary Assembly on this current and relevant theme of such importance, which asks how religion is considered in the public ambit, above all when carrying out aid and development projects. Cardinal Christian Wiyghan Tumi, Archbishop of Duoala (Cameroon), addressed the theme from the African perspective, and Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, President of Cor Unum, underlined the impact that Enlightenment thinking and secularism in the West have had in conditioning the vision of man. Mr. Kenneth Hackett, President of Catholic Relief Services (U.S.A.), then responded to the question of how the anthropological understanding of donors and conditions imposed by third parties (governments and other sources of power) can influence projects undertaken by the Church. Finally, Dr. Peter Weiderud of the World Council of Churches developed the same issue from the viewpoint of the churches and the various Christian communities linked to the institution he represents.
The concluding remarks summarise the reflections of the participants in the Assembly, who came from five continents, and underline the fact that the witness for the Love of God for man cannot be contained in an anthropology deprived of its religious dimension.The publication also contains the Allocution given to the Assembly by the Holy Father, who entrusts to the Dicastery and its members the mission “of being a support for so many brothers and sisters in difficulty, bringing them the experience of divine tenderness and the loving nearness of the Successor of Peter.”
The Acts are available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish, and can be requested via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org or via FAX: +39/06/69-88-73-11.