The XX Latin American and Caribbean Congress of Caritas was held in Puerto Rico from May 31 to June 6, 2023, with the theme: "To encourage and strengthen the synodal journey of Caritas in Latin America and the Caribbean in the People of God to renew, together with the poor, the hope of a new land".
In addition to representatives of local Caritas in the region, a delegation of Caritas Internationalis is present.
For his part, the Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Cardinal Michael Czerny SJ, sent a speech that was read during the inaugural session of the Congress, in which he said that "the Dicastery accompanies the Bishops of the world and their collaborators and emphasizes their commitment in the field of promotion and service to the integral human development of the poor and all who suffer, victims of a 'throwaway culture' and of great injustices."
In addition, Cardinal Czerny evoked the Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium and the call of Pope Francis to incorporate the synodal dimension that implies a "change of course" into social pastoral care.
"This change of course, which encourages us to live a synodal dimension, must begin with a personal conversion that allows us to abandon the temptation of self-referentiality, in order to truly enter into a dimension of listening and dialogue with others, acting in a network based on the plurality of diversity and giving an effective response to the multifaceted needs of the person," wrote the Prefect.
Ultimately, Cardinal Czerny highlighted the recent speech of Pope Francis to Caritas Internationalis to place "the primacy of charity in the footsteps of Saint Paul". “It is not only a question of launching projects and strategies that seek effectiveness, 'but also of engaging in an ongoing process of missionary conversion'. It means showing that 'the Gospel responds to the deepest expectations of the human person: a response to each one’s dignity and fulfilment in reciprocity, communion and fruitfulness.’”
Thus, the Holy Father said, that it will be possible to “express with creative freedom the Church’s maternal heart and concern for social justice, thanks to their involvement in the challenging work of changing unjust social structures and promoting the happiness of the human person.”
Prior to the XX Latin American and Caribbean Congress of Caritas, the "Women’s Forum" was held on May 29 and 30 in Aguas Buenas (Puerto Rico) as a preliminary step to this Caritas event.
Mujeres que se reencuentran, se escuchan y disciernen juntas a partir de esa escucha. Ese fue el propósito del Foro Mujer, realizado el 29 y 30 de mayo en Aguas Buenas (Puerto Rico) como paso previo al XX Congreso de Cáritas— CáritasLatinoamérica (@caritasalc) May 31, 2023
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