Feb 20, 2016

Caritas China Social Pastoral Conference @ Manila

Caritas Internatinonalis together with Caritas Asia has organized the 3rd China Social Pastoral Conference in Manila from 1 to 3 February which was attended by more than 30 participants including number of them representing 5 Catholic charitable organisations from mainland China.

Very first such conference was organised in Taiwan 3 years ago and the second one was in Macau. As for this time, President of the Caritas Internationalis, Cardinal Tagle had a chance to give a talk to the participants as we gathered at his city, Manila.

Caritas Internationalis is a confederation of Caritas national organisations all over the world. Though there are numerous number of diocesan caritas organisations in many countries, it is only the national organisation which received recognition from a bishops' conference are allowed to join the confederation. In mainland China, Caritas Hong Kong and Caritas Macau have been members of the confederation before they were returned to China. Then the current "bishops' conference" in mainland China has not been recognized by the Holy See with reasons you know well and I do not have to mention it. That means there is no national Caritas to join the confederation at this moment. But that does not mean that charitable activities of Catholic Church in China should be isolated from rest of Catholic world since we are acting based on the same faith.

There are number of diocesan charitable organisations existing in China which operates according to Catholic social teachings sharing the same faith. That is why we have been organising such forum for sometime to invite them to share the current trend in Caritas activities and also share information for further cooperation and support.

The past few years, China has been suffering massive scale of natural disasters. As a member of the common home, China is not exempted from the effects of climate change. The territory of China is vast and population is huge. A diocesan charitable organisation has limit in resources and experiences. Caritas Internationalis, without any political intention, is willing to work together with these diocesan charitable organisations in China who faces so many challenges when such disaster hits the area. Therefore, Caritas will continue to organize China Social Pastoral Conference to exchange ideas and information, and to search common grounds of charitable action as the same Catholic Church organisations.

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