By PJ Usanga
The President of Caritas Africa, Msgr. Pierre Cibambo, has explained that Caritas is a Church-run humanitarian organization that is accountable to the Church and report in full to the Church and not a Non-governmental Organization (NGO) that is collecting and distributing money.
“Caritas is Church; Caritas acts on behalf of the Church, as part of the Church, under the guidance of the Church and under the guidance of the Bishops, who are the fathers of charity, because they preside over charity in their respective and particular Churches.”
“This has to be understood very well, and it is also part of my mission to ensure that this is understood very well, that we are not operating as an NGO, we are operating as a Church,” he said.
Msgr. Cibambo, who was recently elected as the President of Caritas Africa in May 2023, stated this during the just concluded Caritas Africa Regional Commission meeting, which was hosted by Caritas Nigeria from 19 to 22 September, 2023 in Abuja, Nigeria.
The Caritas Africa President, also stressed that Caritas workers need to be professional, competent, and ready to serve with the formation of the heart as witnesses of Christ, because Caritas exists to serve, to accompany, to defend and be the voice of the voiceless.
While intimating that the Church’s evangelizing mission is realized in three inseparable ways: the spreading of the Gospel, the celebration of divine mysteries, and the work of charity, Msgr. Cibambo who has been at the service of Caritas Internationalis for 22 years, noted that Caritas focuses on the third dimension which is the service of charity and called on Caritas at all levels to have a clear vision, get organized and be prophetic.
Speaking about his vision and hopes for Caritas Africa in his new role as the Chairman of the Caritas Africa board, Msgr. Cibambo disclosed that his main mission is to ensure that Caritas representatives in Africa are making every effort to support the advancement of holistic human development in their particular nations and to also supervise the operations of the regional secretariat which is there to coordinate the work of national members in the field of humanitarian response, integral human development and advocacy.