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Cardinal Turkson: Caritas is ‘part and parcel of evangelization’

Catholic World News - May 26, 2011

The president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has challenged Caritas Internationalis--the Church’s confederation of charitable and development agencies--to recognize its role in the Church’s work of evangelization.

“In testimony to Christ’s charity, through works of relief and development, Caritas is part and parcel of evangelization,” the Ghana-born Cardinal Peter Turkson said in an address to the confederation’s general assembly. “We may note several challenges in this regard: excessive professionalism, proselytism in two senses: one, an abuse of the gratuitous charity we are called to offer; the other, an excessive caution about proselytism which would block legitimate and necessary evangelization.”

“We should not draw a fictitious distinction between ‘professionalism’ and evangelization,” he continued. “The power of the Gospel calls us to be professional in every action, but it also expects us to be motivated by faith and values when we offer this service in the name of Jesus and of His Church.”

Quoting Cardinal Robert Sarah, he added that “the task before us is to re-establish the ‘link between evangelization and charity. The Church's charity is not directed solely at social progress, but wants to draw man toward God, the source of all good.’”

In their advocacy efforts, the Church’s charitable and development agencies should not “employ a kind of ecclesiastical authority for positions which are matters of prudential judgment,” Cardinal Turkson added.

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  • Posted by: impossible - May. 30, 2011 10:29 PM ET USA

    Wouldn't it be wonderful if the USCCB with its secularized, left wing ideologized CCHD and Canada's Development and Peace were to read and heed the sound principles set forth by Cardinal Peter Turkson. These two organizations should take the brief salient points from this article and use them to write a truly Catholic mission statement for their "charitable" outreaches.

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