The strength of Caritas stems from its widespread presence along the poorest and most needed across Europe and beyond. To further increase Caritas’ capacity to care for the poorest and most in need of our societies, 67 Caritas representatives from more than 30 countries in Europe have been meeting in a 3 day-long (1-3 July) ID Forum in the town of Setubal in Portugal.
Caritas Europa organised the event, in collaboration with Caritas Portugal. During the Forum, participants shared their experience in and knowledge of tools that are fundamental for the sustainability of Caritas across Europe; such as management standards, funding, fundraising, knowledge management, capacity building, and intra-Caritas accompaniment.
“Caritas is Church and as such, Caritas stands with the poor, the needy, those our societies have chosen not so see anymore. As Pope Benedict wrote in Deus Caritas Est, Caritas is the heart that sees where love is needed and acts accordingly. And that is exactly why we are here in Setubal. To ensure Caritas’ capacity to act accordingly, to help each other to become stronger Caritas organisations that can bring light and hope in those societies that have chosen not to see anymore,” says Jorge Nuño Mayer, Secretary General of Caritas Europa, on the reasons of this for.
In his closing speech, Mr Eugenio Fonseca, President of Caritas Portugal, stressed the importance for Caritas to keep the pace with time and adapt to changes in society and in the needs of the poor. "The organisation of charity service, today, more than ever, is not only a step we are ready to take but a step the social and economic reality is calling us to take. The crisis in Europe is not finished yet. It has changed our societies in radical ways, creating new needs that require a new mind-set and new solutions from the civil society, the Church and policy makers. In the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis speaks of a church that takes the initiative “and moves forward” and “goes out to the others” and assumes its "permanent state of mission ". This is the reason of our meeting in Setubal. We, Caritas, want to be this Church across Europe,” he said.
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