By Reyza Ferranco

Pope Francis dismissed all current leaders of Caritas Internationalis, including its president, former Manila archbishop Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, for the envisaged renewal of the Institution.

Photo Courtesy of CBCP News/Jonathan Cellona (ABS-CBN News)

As stated in the November 22 Vatican decree, the pope deemed it necessary to revise the current governing regulations to “make it more appropriate to the statutory functions of the organization,” as well as to prepare it for the elections to be held at the next general assembly.

In the meantime, Cardinal Tagle will be aiding the pope’s appointed temporary administrator, Pier Francesco Pinelli, throughout the transition. Among Pinelli’s many tasks as interim head is to amend the organization’s statutes and bylaws. 

The cardinal further cleared out that the decision to cease all officers has no relation with any case of financial mismanagement nor sexual impropriety, and that the pope’s move is only for the betterment of the entire organization.   

"This is a call for walking humbly with God and a process of discernment, confronting our unfreedoms and following the spirit of freedom, [and] at the same time, the walking together of different cultures in their unique expressions of humanity," Tagle said, as quoted by Vatican News.

This was in relation to the negative speculations surrounding the management of the Caritas, which the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development denounced, noting that there was no evidence of such cases. 

In an interview with Vatican News, Pinelli stated that he sees the revitalization of the organization as a “checkpoint to improve what is already excellent.” Moreover, he seeks to foster a climate of trust and collaboration with all those who participate in the Caritas. 

Caritas Internationalis is a Vatican-based confederation of over 160 Catholic charities, providing aid in more than 200 countries globally. 

In 2015, Cardinal Tagle succeeded Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodrguez Maradiaga as the confederation's president emeritus, making him the first Asian to hold the position, even so for two consecutive terms. The next general assembly where the CI officers are to be elected is scheduled for May 2023.

Copyedited by Arianna Montes