Vatican official rebuts criticism from outgoing Caritas International leader
March 08, 2011
Responding to criticism from the outgoing head of Caritas International, the secretary of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum has said that the Vatican wants new leadership in the international coalition of relief agencies because major reforms are in store.
Msgr. Giampietro Dal Toso told the Catholic News Agency that the changes at Caritas International will include “the revision of its statutes and internal reform.” For that reason, he said, the Vatican decided that new leadership was necessary, and chose not to approve a new 4-year term for the current secretary-general, Lesley-Anne Knight.
Knight, in an interview with the National Catholic Reporter, had complained that Vatican officials had not communicated clearly with Caritas. Msgr. Dal Toso disagreed, saying that the lines of communication were always open. He added that with her public criticisms, Knight “might seriously damage the prestige of Caritas International.”
The reforms that the Vatican is planning for Caritas International will reportedly accentuate the Catholic identity of the relief agencies. Knight had suggested that some members of the international coalition might be uncomfortable with a more assertive Catholic identity.