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      The Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" was instituted by Pope Paul VI, of happy memory, on July 15, 1971. The year 2001 marked the Thirtieth Anniversary of its foundation and "Cor Unum" has prepared a publication, ARS CARITATIS,  with the fundamental documents of Popes Paul VI and John Paul II regarding "Cor Unum". The documents are integrated into a study on the evolution of the Dicastery and accompanied by two articles presenting the work of the Foundations John Paul II for the Sahel and Populorum Progressio.  Moreover, there is a "key concepts" section, a small dictionary of socio-charitable words. These volumes, which include the documentation in English, Spanish, French, and Italian, will start to be published by the end of next February.  We trust that these will be a valid tool to better know about "Cor Unum".


      Each volume brings together the document by which Pope Paul VI instituted the Dicastery (Amoris officio) with the subsequent Allocutions of both Popes to its Plenary Assemblies.  In the former, the Pope explains the motives which prompted such an important act of his pontificate, indicating the competence and tracing in broad strokes the direction he wished to go.  In the latter, the Popes direct the action of "Cor Unum" toward the continual unfolding of events, so that charitable action in the ecclesial world is always more faithful to the teaching of the Gospel for an authentic witness to Christ, the gift of the love of God to humanity.


      Ars caritatis includes also the Message of Pope John Paul II to Volunteers at the end of the International Year of Volunteers (December 5, 2001).

 Vatican City, January 29, 2002