The Pope dismissed the president of Caritas Internationalis. Scandal in the background
An Italian layman, engineer Pier Francesco Pinelli, was appointed by the pope as Extraordinary Commissioner of Caritas Internationalis. This is the result of the work of an independent commission that examined the activities of the Caritas federation.
The secretary general of Caritas Internationalis, Aloysius John, who was appointed to the position in 2019, was also removed, as was the leadership and management team.
According to the Washington Post, John was introduced to the structure of Caritas Internationalis as head of the development team in 2013 by the previous secretary general. A former Caritas employee who has worked with external reviewers has spoken of instances of intimidation and incompetence under John, especially in dealing with the aftermath of a sexual abuse scandal in Caritas’ activities in the Central African Republic.
In addition, at the end of 2019, CNN determined that in 2017 there was information about a pedophile crime allegedly committed by the director of Caritas operations in Bangui, but no investigation was initiated at that time. The station reached out to at least two victims of this priest.
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The decree recalls that Caritas Internationalis assists the Pope and the bishops in their service to the poor and the most deprived, participating in humanitarian crises and collaborating to spread love and justice in the world, “in the light of the Gospel and the teaching of the Catholic Church.”
The decision on the serious and, as Vaticanists note, unexpected changes was explained in a special note of the Vatican Dicastery for Integral Human Development by the need to improve the performance of the mission and revise existing norms to adapt them to statutory functions.
Commissioner Pinelli is to work by decree with Cardinal Tagle, who will primarily deal with relations with local Churches.
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