VATICAN CITY — Under new rules announced on Wednesday (May 2), the Vatican will more closely oversee the operations of Caritas Internationalis, a global confederation of 162 national Catholic charities. The decision comes after the Vatican last year vetoed the re-election of the organization’s then-secretary general, Lesley-Anne Knight, complaining of a lack of coordination with Vatican officials.
The new rules issued by the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, will require all Caritas Internationalis officials make a formal promise of fidelity to church teachings and leaders.
The organization is now under the supervision of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”, which oversees the Catholic Church’s charitable activities, while the pope is given the right to appoint three of its board members. Bishop Bernard Hebda of Gaylord, Mich., has been chosen as one of the Vatican-appointed board members.
From now on, all Caritas Internationalis statements — particularly “any text with doctrinal or moral content or orientations” — and activities will have to be authorized in advance by the Vatican, except in case of “grave humanitarian emergencies.”