Le service de la charité : Motu Proprio de Benoît XVI
dans cette lettre publiée le 1er décembre dernier (De caritate ministranda), Benoît XVI établit les normes juridiques pour les associations et fondations caritatives catholiques qui sont étroitement liées à la nature diaconale de l’Église et du ministère épiscopal.
Celui-ci renforce l'autorité des évêques diocésains dans ce domaine. Un organisme caritatif ne peut utiliser la dénomination catholique qu’avec le consentement écrit de l’autorité compétente.
Dans l’exercice de l’activité caritative, les nombreuses organisations catholiques, ne doivent pas se limiter uniquement à récolter ou à distribuer des fonds, mais doivent toujours témoigner d’une attention spéciale envers la personne qui est dans le besoin, et exercer également une fonction pédagogique précieuse au sein de la communauté chrétienne qui favorise l’éducation au partage, au respect et à l’amour selon la logique de l’évangile du Christ.
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Pope issues new rules to strengthen Catholic identity of charities
As Catholics consider making charitable donations to mark their concern for the poor as Christmas approaches, Pope Benedict XVI has issued new rules to strengthen the religious identity of Catholic charities and ensure that their activities conform to Church teaching.
The Pope’s apostolic letter De Caritate Ministranda (“On The Service of Charity”) issued “motu proprio” (on his own initiative) directs bishops in overseeing charitable works in their dioceses. The document, dated November 11 (feast of St. Martin whose charity to the poor has become legendary), was released by the Vatican on Saturday, December 1.
In the letter the Pope wrote that charities approved by the Church or supported by Church funds “are required to follow Catholic principles in their activity and they may not accept commitments which could in any way affect the observance of those principles”.
Catholic charities are forbidden to “receive financial support from groups or institutions that pursue ends contrary to the Church’s teaching”, or to “accept contributions for initiatives whose ends, or the means used to pursue them, are not in conformity with the Church’s teaching”.
When “the activity of a particular charitable agency is no longer being carried out in conformity with the Church’s teaching”, Pope Benedict wrote, the responsible bishop must inform his flock and “prohibit that agency from using the name ‘Catholic’.”
In the apostolic letter, the Pope praised Caritas Internationalis for its “generous and consistent witness of faith and its concrete ability to respond to the needs of the poor”.
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COLLECT FOR MONDAY
OF THE 3RD WEEK IN ADVENT
O God, Creator and Redeemer of human nature, who willed that your Word should take flesh in an ever-virgin womb, look with favour on our prayers, that your Only Begotten Son, having taken to himself our humanity, may be pleased to grant us a share in his divinity. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.