Pope Francis welcomed the Spanish “Caritas”, which celebrates 75 years since its foundation: “It has earned the respect of Spanish society, beyond faith and ideologies”, noted the Pope and encouraged to work according to vocation.
Salvatore Cernuzio – Manya Kavaldjieva – The Vatican
Not only to “give”, but above all to “give ourselves”. Along with thanks for decades of service, Pope Francis reminded Spain’s Caritas of the nature of its mission: the charity from which to draw strength for its best performance.
By vocation, not just as a job
Pope Francis in his speech insisted more specifically on this issue:
Please pay attention to the funds, but do not fall for the big business of the charity, where 40, 50, 60% of the funds go to pay the salaries of those who work there. There are companies in Europe, there are, excuse me, movements of charitable institutions that go up to 60%, I think that’s a lot… But 40 percent and more are dedicated to salaries. No. Lowest brokerage fees possible! And those who are there, as far as possible be by vocation and not as a job. “Come, I’ll give you a job at Caritas…”. No no. This is not good.
the audience with the Pope
The lost unity
The Pope specified twice that he was speaking based on his “experience when he sees other humanitarian institutions that fall into this situation”. Therefore, the reference is not to “Caritas Spain”, on the contrary, the Pope even thanked for the work done, so much so that “it has won the respect of the Spanish society, beyond its faith and ideologies”.
If Christ calls us to fellowship with God and with our brother, your effort is aimed precisely at regaining that unity that is sometimes lost in people and communities.
Roads to recovery
In this sense, Pope Francis pointed out three challenges. The first is “to work starting from the skills and from the potential, accompanying the processes”.
Indeed, it is not the results that motivate us and make us achieve the planned goals, but standing in front of a person who is broken, who does not find his place and to accept him, to open paths for his recovery so that he can find himself, since is able, despite his and our limitations, to seek his place and open himself to others and to God
the delegation of the Spanish Caritas
Just giving is not enough
Francis pointed to the second challenge, which is to “take significant action”.
The poor must always be accepted, accompanied and integrated. It’s all work….
The message of Jesus
Jesus himself, with his life and his work, says clearly that “it is not enough to give, we must give ourselves”.
To paraphrase the Gospel of John, if we are sought after and praised only because people have been fed and because of this we feel like kings, we will be betraying the message of Jesus.
Summoned by the brother’s suffering
The invitation is “to be the leaven of the kingdom of justice, love and peace,” Pope Francis said. And from here he pointed to the third challenge: to try to “be a channel for the action of the church community”.
“Caritas” is offered to us as that outstretched hand that belongs to Christ when we offer it to those who need us and at the same time it allows us to perceive Christ when he turns to us in the suffering of our brother”, he noted the pope. “When we look at the brother who has fallen, let us not forget that the only time we are allowed to look down on a person is to help him get up, then never again,” Francis added.
Being a channel does not simply mean more orderly management of funds or a space in which to offload responsibility for this delicate church mission. To be a channel must be understood first of all as an opportunity – of which we should all take advantage – to have that unique and necessary experience to which the Lord calls us when he says: “Do you want to know who your neighbor is? Go and do the same.”
moment of the meeting