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Weigel analyzes tensions between Vatican, Caritas International leadership

March 30, 2011

When the Vatican declined to approve a new term for Lesley-Anne Knight, the secretary-general of Caritas International, a brief statement indicated that the Holy See wanted to reinforce the distinctive Catholic identity of the relief coalition.

Some supporters of Caritas International protested the Vatican decision, and Knight herself argued that a drive to make the relief effort more distinctively Catholic would risk damaging the alliances that the group has formed.

"If that's the case," writes George Weigel, "it won't be because of anything the Vatican did. Rather, it will be because the INGO world is dominated by an unbending "progressive" orthodoxy on development and health-care questions that sits poorly with Catholic understandings of how people are empowered to break out of the cycle of poverty." Weigel's column explains that the Vatican is justified in seeking change in the Caritas approach.


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