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Who we are
Caritas Italiana is the Pastoral Body created by the Italian Episcopal Conference in order to promote, in cooperation with other bodies as well, the charity commitment of the Italian ecclesiastical community, in the forms that are appropriate considering time and needs, for a complete development of man, social justice and peace, with particular attention to the poor and with a mainly pedagogical function.
Caritas Italiana was founded in 1971 answering to the will of Paul VI, in the spirit of renewal launched by the II Vatican Council. The activities of Caritas Italiana are strictly connected to the 220 diocesan Caritases engaged in the territory, animating the civil and ecclesial community and promoting pastoral services like Counselling Centres, Centres for Poverty and Resources Monitoring, Parish Caritases, Reception Centres for needy people, etc.
Caritas Italiana has to carry out the following tasks:
- cooperating with the Bishops in promoting within the local Churches (Dioceses), the consciousness raising of the sense of charity towards communities and people in difficulties, as well as the duty of translating it into concrete actions, having a promotional and, when possible, preventive nature;
- coordinating initiatives, charitable actions and assistance interventions of Christian inspiration;
- start, organise and coordinate emergency actions in case of public calamities, in Italy or abroad;
- cooperating with other bodies inspired to Christian principles:
- carrying out studies and research on the needs in order to identify the causes, preparing both preventive and curative intervention plans, within the common pastoral programming and in order to stimulate the action of the civil institution towards an appropriate legislation;
- promoting voluntary service and encouraging the training of the pastoral charity operator, as well as those people, voluntary and professional workers inspired by Christian principles, committed to both private and public social services and in human promotion activities.
- contributing to the Developing Countries' human and social development by awakening public opinion, offering services, financial help as well as by coordinating the initiatives of the various groups and movements inspired by Christian values.