By Christopher Wells
Pope Francis met this week with members of the Catholic-inspired NGOs Forum, who have been in Rome for a conference entitled: Catholic Inspired Organizations: Promoters of Humanity in a Transforming World. The Holy Father greeted the group in the Paul VI Hall ahead of Wednesday’s General Audience.
Goal of the Forum
Following the meeting with the Pope, the organizer of the 2017 Forum, Johannes Ketelers spoke with Vatican News about the event.
He said the goal of the program was “to bring those people together because we are facing a change in times, and the reading of the signs of the times tells us that we are really in front of something that is transforming us, [and] societies, affecting social cohesion, creating new solitudes.”
He noted “a lack of real direction” in the various international organizations. Nonetheless, civil society and faith-based organizations are “present” in the dialogue. “What we see today” Ketelers said, “is that all of this is moving. We have a seat, we have a voice, so let us now look at how do we bring that together, in front, and confronted with, what is happening.”
Thinking more in depth
The two days of meetings in Rome, which culminated in the meeting with Pope Francis, was “the third to bring those organizations together and start thinking more in-depth.” Ketelers highlighted the contributions of the organizations themselves; academics; and the representatives of the Holy See as contributing to that effort.
He acknowledged, “we may not have the answers today, but the fact that we join each other is of great value.”