By a decree issued Tuesday, November 22 at midday, Pope Francis appoints Pier Francesco Pinelli, an Italian layman, Provisional Administrator of the confederation of 162 charitable works of the Church, based in the Vatican and present in more than 200 countries and territories in the world. Aloysius John, the General Secretary of Caritas since May 2019, like the entire current management team, is suspended.
Marine Henriot – Vatican City
This decision was taken following an audit carried out this year within Caritas Internationalis on the organization and well-being at work, we learn in the press release shared Tuesday, November 22 by the dicastery for the Development Service integral human. An audit commissioned by this same dicastery, which according to the new apostolic constitution Praedicate Evangelium, entered into force in June 2022, exercises all powers over Caritas Internationalis.
All current and past employees of the confederation were invited to participate in this study, which reveals “weaknesses in management procedures”, “which also had a negative effect on team spirit and staff morale.”
The purpose of this audit, carried out by a group of independent experts made up of psychologists Enrico Parolari and Francesca Busnelli, as well as Pier Francesco Pinelli, a manager with a humanist profile, was therefore to verify whether the values of Caritas Internationalis, human dignity and respect for each person, were applied within it.
The press release is intended to be clear: the problems are linked to well-being at work. No financial irregularities or deviant sexual behavior to report.
In addition, the measure announced on Tuesday “does not affect the functioning of member organizations and the charitable and solidarity services they provide worldwide; on the contrary, it will help to strengthen them“, specifies the press release.
During the commissioning period of the new team, “all current management functions» of Caritas Internationalis «cease“.
The objective of the new management will be to update the statutes and regulations of Caritas Internationalis “for greater functionality and efficiency” in view of the next General Assembly scheduled for May 2023. In this last task, specifies the decree, the Provisional Administrator will be assisted by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, until now President of Caritas, “who will be particularly responsible for overseeing relations with the local churches and with the member organizations of Caritas Internationalis”.
Humanist profiles appointed to management
By decree, the Pope appoints Pier Francesco Pinelli who cut his teeth in volunteering but also in the management of large energy companies. Trained in Ignatian spirituality, the Italian layman got involved very early on with drug addicts, in development cooperation, support for missionary works and catechesis. This father of three children, had been mandated by the Italian government for the reorganization of cultural institutions and the performing arts, he was also director of the Jesuit Foundation for Education.
Pier Francesco Pinelli will be accompanied in his mission by Maria Amparo Alonso Escobar who until now was responsible for advocacy at Caritas. Prior to this position, she spent over thirty years serving the poor and disadvantaged around the world as a volunteer in Europe, North America, Africa and Latin America. From 2016 to 2020, she was director of the permanent office of Caritas Internationalis at the United Nations, in Geneva, working on international relations and multilateral affairs.
Fr Manuel Morujão, sj, is also part of the new management team, in charge of the personal and spiritual accompaniment of the staff.