In the Encyclical Deus Caritas Est, the Holy Father Benedict XVI asks Caritas to professionalise its work, saying “individuals who care for those in need must first be professionally competent: they should be properly trained in what to do and how to do it, and committed to continuing care.”
Then he adds: “Yet, while professional competence is a primary, fundamental requirement, it is not of itself sufficient. We are dealing with human beings, and human beings always need something more than technically proper care. They need humanity. They need heartfelt concern… Consequently, in addition to their necessary professional training, these charity workers need a ‘formation of the heart’.”
The Caritas Internationalis Management Standards (CI MS) aim at organisational strengthening and are designed to make member organisations stronger, and as a result make the Caritas Network stronger and more effective. The standards are based on existing Caritas good practices and accepted principles within the Caritas community. Engaging into continuous learning in fraternal cooperation, based on and driven by Catholic Social Teaching, aims to be a network that responds to the needs of people affected by poverty, injustice, social exclusion or disasters.
The Management Standards are effective ad experimentum for all member organisations as of 1st January 2015. On 19 October 2015 Pope Francis sent a strong message to all Caritas organisations:
“As I said at your last General Assembly, I thank the Lord for Caritas and its valuable service in the world. I also congratulate the Governance bodies and the General Secretariat of Caritas Internationalis for developing and approving the Management Standards and Code of Conduct for the member organisations. These instruments must now be applied to strengthen the transparency and credibility of Caritas. Let us remember that we are accountable to God, to the Church, to the donors and in particular, to the poor with whom the Lord identifies Himself. By serving them with humility, dedication, self-denial and professionalism, we promote the Church’s mission of forming one human family, caring for creation.”