Caritas Africa Lauded for Giving Voice to Change to “eliminate the roots of injustice”

Address by Mr Francesco Pinelli (temporary Caritas Internationalis administrator) at the opening session of the Caritas Africa Regional Assembly Rome, 08 May 2023. Credit: Caritas Africa

The Temporary Administrator of Caritas Internationalis (CI) has lauded members of Caritas Africa for giving voice to change that can help “eliminate the roots of injustice” on the continent.

In his address at the opening session of the 10th Caritas Africa Regional Assembly in Rome on Monday, May 8, Dr. Pier Francesco Pinelli said that Caritas Africa has been beneficial to many people in the world’s second-largest continent.  

“You have been present in the field, but also in places where you try to give voice to changes that can eliminate the roots of injustice,” Dr. Pinelli said in his address at the opening of the four-day Assembly that concluded Wednesday, May 10. 

The CI Temporary Administrator who was appointed to the position by Pope Francis last November lauded Caritas Africa for bringing "light, hope, to bear witness to love,” and added, “You are present in war and climate emergencies, in forgotten crises, in community strengthening.” 

He recognized Caritas Africa’s reaching out to the needy and vulnerable at the grassroots, saying that the strengthening of communities in difficult situations “is the foundation of a robust more inclusive and just society and the basic layer to build local Church."


Dr. Pinelli thanked Caritas Africa members for fostering collaboration “with dioceses, with your bishops, with sister Caritas from other parts of the world, with other Catholic organizations, with international bodies with non-profit organisations of all inspirations.”

He also recognized efforts that Caritas Africa undertakes to implement a “participatory approach” that he said Caritas “tries hard to apply”.

The activities of Caritas Africa, Dr. Pinelli said, “are characterized by several Committees, participated by members originally from the 6 areas of Caritas Africa.”

The governance bodies of Caritas Africa “follow the same model, when involved in project and emergencies we strive to join forces,” he said, and added, “These are a seeds of synodality, that have always been present within Caritas Internationalis.”

“Communities are the place where synodality can flourish. Not only Church communities but civil communities. The more inclusive the participation the stronger can be the community resilience,” the CI official said during the May 8 session. 

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He continued, “The common path of synodality opens up wide horizons, rejoices our hearts, opens our minds, teaches us to be more humble and receptive, increases the joy of participating in the mission and the hope to contribute to the kingdom of God on the earth.” 

Dr. Pinelli further lauded members of the entity that brings together 46 national Caritas organizations for their unity, saying, “Indeed to walk together as one body (uniting 46 nations, the whole sub-Saharan Africa) is a prophetic project of faith and hope, it shows a direction where the Church should go.”

“It seems much easier to proceed alone, many are the temptations for the division for enhancing differences and forgetting or diminish our brothers,” he told participants who gathered at the Casa La Salle hotel for the event that was organized under the theme, “building together resilient communities in Africa”.

Unity among members of national Caritas, Bishops' conferences, and Dioceses across Africa would improve common paths of development, the CI official said.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.