The director of Latin America for Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Javier Legorreta, said this week trust in God is the basis for economically sustaining the Church and that in her poverty, the Church in Latin America should encourage the faithful “to generously help their Church, diocese or parish.”
In an interview with the blogger Eduardo Mesa, Legoretta explained the work of ACN in Latin America as well as the need of the Church there to be self-sufficient and for people in the region to donate generously.
He noted that 13 years ago, ACN decided to engage in fundraising in Brazil and Chile in order to encourage those countries that have received assistance from the organization to also give back. He praised efforts by some bishops’ conferences to be more self-sufficient with tithing programs, but he warned that giving must be with the proper motives in order to prevent tithing from becoming something that is “cold and calculated.”
ACN has always trusted in Divine Providence, he went on. “This system was the tool that the founder of this work (Father Werenfried) always desired: to promise help even before the funds have been raised and thus inform benefactors of where the Church is in need and is suffering,” Legoretta explained. “There have never been enough benefactors,” he stressed, because the needs of the Church are so great.
He went on to say that help can be given in three ways: by praying for those who suffer, by making benefactors aware of the realities that exist, and by offering financial assistance to meet the immense needs.
Legorreta said the Church in a third world country will always have need of the generosity of those who have more in order to carry out their mission of service. Likewise, he said, “a rich church is a poor church and a poor church is a rich church.” “This binomial can help us understand that how dependency can be created, but this dependency can be avoided as long as the principle of subsidiarity is observed and once the bishops little by little teach the faithful to give what the can from their poverty,” he said.