Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi reader, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Make charity more of an encounter, less of a 'service,' Pope Francis says

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By (CNA/EWTN)
5/28/2019 (1 month ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

Pope Francis told members of a global charitable group Monday that real charity is about encountering Christ in the poor and needy, not merely handing out aid to soothe one's conscience.

Highlights

By (CNA/EWTN)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
5/28/2019 (1 month ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: charity, an encounter, Pope Francis


Vatican City, (CNA) - "If we look at charity as a service, the Church would become a humanitarian agency and the service of charity its 'logistics department.' But the Church is nothing of all this, it is something different and much greater," he said May 27.

"It is, in Christ, the sign and instrument of God's love for humanity and for all of creation, our common home."

The pope addressed the Church charity Caritas Internationalis during their general assembly in Rome, which ends May 28.

"Given the mission that Caritas is called to carry out in the Church, it is important to always return to reflect together on the meaning of the word charity itself," he said. "Charity is not a sterile performance or a simple offering to donate to silence our conscience."

"This is why we must avoid assimilating the work of charity with philanthropic efficacy or with planning efficiency..." he stated, reiterating "that charity is not an idea or a pious feeling, but is an experiential encounter with Christ; it is the desire to live with the heart of God who does not ask us to have a generic love, affection, solidarity, etc. for the poor, but to meet Himself in them."

Francis referenced John 4:8 to explain that the origin of charity is found in God himself, for "whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love."

"Charity is the embrace of God our Father to every man, especially to the least and the suffering, who occupy a preferential place in his heart," he said.

The pope stated that to live charity requires interpersonal relationships with the poor: "living with the poor and for the poor. Because by living with the poor we learn to practice charity with the spirit of poverty, we learn that charity is sharing."

"In reality, not only the charity that does not reach the pocket is a false charity, but the charity that does not involve the heart, the soul and all our being is an idea of charity that is not yet realized," he said.

Reflecting on charity as a theological virtue, Pope Francis said he finds it "scandalous" to see charitable work turned into a business. Especially when people "talk so much about charity but live in the luxury of dissipation or organize forums on charity uselessly wasting so much money."

"It is very bad to note that some charity workers turn into officials and bureaucrats," he opined, advising encounter with Jesus Christ as the antidote.

"It is communion in Christ and in the Church that animates, accompanies and supports the service of charity both in the communities themselves and in emergency situations throughout the world," he said.

"The poor are first and foremost persons, and their faces conceal that of Christ himself. They are his flesh, signs of his crucified body, and we have the duty to reach them even in the most extreme peripheries and in the hidden parts of history with the delicacy and tenderness of Mother Church."


Comments


More Europe

N Ireland bill legalizing abortion, gay marriage faces challenges in House of Lords Watch

Image of

As the British parliament continues to consider a bill on Northern Ireland including amendments that would legalize abortion and same-sex ... continue reading


Vatican draws attention to sacrifice of seafarers, requests prayers Watch

Image of

The prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development urged prayers Sunday for seafarers, fishermen, and maritime workers, ... continue reading



Pope Francis: Judge your own heart first - not that of those in need

Image of

Helping a person in need requires compassion toward their situation, Pope Francis said Sunday, encouraging Catholics to think first about ... continue reading


Italian Cardinal Paolo Sardi dies at age 84 Watch

Image of

Cardinal Paolo Sardi, who served under five popes, died Saturday at Gemelli Hospital in Rome after a short illness. Vatican City, (CNA) - ... continue reading


Vatican will open two ossuaries next week in continued cemetery investigation Watch

Image of

The Vatican has found two ossuaries believed to maybe belong to the German noblewomen whose tombs were found empty earlier this week. ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.