Pope Francis appoints commissioner to strengthen the service of Caritas International

The Holy Father has decreed to promote a process of renewal of the body dependent on the Vatican Curia, after verifying the need to especially strengthen the management of people.


Through a decree of Pope Francis, published at noon this Tuesday, November 22, Caritas International (CI) is preparing for a temporary administration, to improve the fulfillment of its mission of assisting the Supreme Pontiff and the Bishops in the exercise of their ministry with the most poor and needy. According to the document, to achieve this “it seems necessary to review the current regulatory framework to make it more appropriate to the statutory functions of the organization, as well as prepare it for the elections that will be held during the next General Assembly.”

In order to relaunch the service of the institution throughout the world, the Pontiff has appointed, effective this same day, November 22, Mr. Francesco Pinelli as Extraordinary Commissioner. He will be assisted by Mrs. María Amparo Alonso Escobar, currently CI Advocacy Director, and by Father Manuel Morujão SJ for the personal and spiritual accompaniment of the team.

During this period of reorganization of CI, it has been decided to cease the current leadership roles within CI. It is specified, however, that “the measure will not have an impact on the functioning of the member organizations and on the charity and solidarity service that they carry out around the world; What’s more, it will serve to reinforce said service”.

Pinelli and Alonso will manage CI’s operations “to ensure stability and empathetic leadership” and will work to complete the candidacies and the election process for their new authorities, to be held during the next General Assembly in May 2023. In preparation for this event , the Commissioner will be supported by Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle, who will act as a bridge between the local Churches and the member organizations of Caritas International.

The role of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development

Caritas International is under the authority of the Department for the Service of Integral Human Development (DSDHI), an entity that, in accordance with the new constitution of the Roman Curia, Preach Evangelium“exercises the powers reserved to the Holy See by right to establish and supervise international charity associations and funds established for the same purposes, as established in the respective statutes and in compliance with current regulations” (Art 174 § 3 ).

The diagnosis on Caritas

At the beginning of this year 2022, this Department commissioned an evaluation of the work environment in the General Secretariat of CI in line with the Catholic values ​​of human dignity and respect for each person. The study was carried out by a panel of independent experts, which included, in addition to Mr. Pinelli, the psychologists Fr. Enrico Parolari and Ms. Francesca Busnelli, in dialogue with both current Cáritas employees and former collaborators. .

“From this teamwork, no evidence of financial mismanagement or inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature emerged, but other important issues and areas of urgent attention emerged,” explains a statement from the DSDHI. Weaknesses were noted in management procedures, which also had a negative effect on team spirit and staff morale.”

Experienced Collaborators

Pier Francesco Pinelli He is an Italian professional, with a degree in engineering, trained in Ignatian spirituality, who from a young age has been active in the field of volunteering with people reintegrated from drug addiction, in development cooperation, in supporting missionary works and in catechism.

Maria Amparo Alonso Escobar He is an economist from the University of Extremadura, in Spain. In his 28 years of working with different Caritas member organizations at all levels (parish, diocesan, national and international), he has dedicated 15 years to Africa, on the ground, in more than 14 countries on the African continent, with special attention to comprehensive development, training, human rights, communication and management projects, and has collaborated with various universities and training programs in civil organizations.

Father Manuel Morujão SJ, Originally from Portugal, he is Superior of the residence of S. Pedro Canisio, near the Vatican. He has done pastoral and spiritual work in Goa, Cape Verde and Portugal. He was commissioned by Pope Francis as a Missionary of Mercy and has served as the Provincial of Portugal.

Pope Francis appoints commissioner to strengthen the service of Caritas International – Vatican News