Caritas Donetsk serving those in need in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro Caritas Donetsk serving those in need in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro 

Caritas Commissioner: ‘Let’s work together to better serve the poor'

A statement released by Caritas Internationalis says Pier Francesco Pinelli, the newly appointed Extraordinary Commissioner of the Church’s humanitarian organization, has expressed his determination to go forward on the path indicated by the Pope and encourages staff and other members to work together to better serve the poor.

By Vatican News

"Encouraged by the Holy Father's initiative and support, we have begun to work together, with the staff, regional secretariats and member organisations, in order to carry forward and strengthen the mission of the Caritas Confederation at the service of the poorest and most vulnerable".

Expressing his commitment and determination to go forward in improving and renewing the reach and effectiveness of the global Caritas Confederation, Pier Francesco Pinelli, pointed to a series of new and dramatic challenges such as Covid-19 and ongoing wars that he says demand the organization be strengthened and better coordinated.

In a Decree on Tuesday Pope Francis appointed Pinelli as Extraordinary Commissioner of Caritas Internationalis. During his six-month mandate he is entrusted with relaunching the organization.


Caritas is a Confederation of 162 national Caritas agencies operating in over 200 countries and territories around the world.

Work to lay the foundations for the renewal process of the General Secretariat of Caritas Internationalis has commenced and will end with the General Assembly in May 2023. The purpose of this work is aimed at strengthening the Confederation's coordination instrument. This path includes the full participation of the regional secretariats and national Caritas agencies, which work daily in their territories to respond to humanitarian emergencies and to promote integral human development particularly for the poor and vulnerable.

Reform and renewal 

The renewal of Caritas Internationalis is part of the ecclesial reform promoted by Pope Francis, which includes the overhaul of all the institutions so that they can, each according to its purpose, concretely serve the Church's mission.

"In the six months of the mandate entrusted to us we will propose and put in place new management and governance tools with the aim of enabling, in the long term, the Caritas Internationalis secretariat to coordinate the Confederation more effectively, supporting member organisations facing new and dramatic challenges on the ground in a rapidly evolving context,” Pinelli said.

Covid-19, wars, climate change, food insecurity

The Commissioner pointed to new and not-so-new but worsening humanitarian crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the effects of climate change and the very serious and pervasive food insecurity, which he said, “call for a reinforcement of our accompaniment of the Caritas organisations.”

The vital role of Cardinal Tagle

He concluded noting that in this process, and in the preparation for the General Assembly, Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle will play a major role, and he will be particularly responsible for relations with local churches and national Caritas organisations.

“Cardinal Tagle,” he said, “represents a point of reference for my work and his support is precious to ensure that all Caritas members participate in this journey.”

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25 November 2022, 18:55