Loading
Cardinal stresses spiritual meaning of Christian volunteer work
By Benjamin Mann and Alan Holdren
Cardinal Robert Sarah, President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, speaks on April 13, 2012.
Cardinal Robert Sarah, President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, speaks on April 13, 2012.

.- Catholics can proclaim the Gospel through their acts of service for others, the Pope's director of charitable activities said as he presented a new book on the Church's volunteer efforts.

“We are just doing what Jesus has done for us,” said Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, an April 13 interview with CNA.

“I think charity must be a kind of evangelization – not direct evangelization, but to make each one know who Christ is, and know the love of God.”

On Friday, Cardinal Sarah briefed journalists on themes of the new publication “The Holy Father and European Volunteers,” which recounts key portions of a November 2011 meeting at the Vatican during Europe's “Year of Volunteering.”

The newly-compiled booklet features an address by Pope Benedict XVI on the Christian origins of volunteer service as an affirmation of humanity's dignity in the eyes of God. With its publication, the Pontifical Council Cor Unum hopes to maintain a focus on the religious value of charitable work.

As head of the council, Cardinal Sarah has been a strong advocate for the religious identity of Catholic charities. In his remarks to CNA, Cardinal Sarah explained that the Church's works of service are a concrete expression of its faith.

“Volunteering means acting in the name of Jesus Christ. So we must improve our formation, because we must insist on our identity as Catholics, when we act in charity.”

In some parts of the world, Christians find it “quite difficult” to carry out this mission, due to suspicion from followers of other religions who may interpret their charity as a veiled form of proselytism.

While the Church does show its faith through its works, Cardinal Sarah explained that it does not seek to impose this faith, or manipulate others by means of charity.

“With liberty, each one can choose his faith.” The Church, he said, is seeking “to make known the love of God.”

“We are brothers and sisters,” he affirmed. “Our one Father is God.”

On the basis of this belief, the Church looks to “promote the dignity of human beings” through its service to people of all convictions.

“If I live near a poor person, I must help him to improve his life. We don't impose any religion … but it is a task for us, to make known the love of God. It is not possible to hide our faith – even if it is difficult to say that in some countries.”

“We can imitate the way Mother Teresa acted,” Cardinal Sarah suggested. “When seeing Mother Teresa, we see God. We see the love of God, respecting everybody.”

It is in this spirit, Cardinal Sarah said, that Church institutions should carry out their mission, “even in very difficult contexts.”

Catholics engaged in charitable work, he said, “are the presence of God. We are the expression of the love of God, the compassion of God.”


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
17

Liturgical Calendar

April 17, 2014

Holy Thursday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 13:1-15

Gospel
Date
04/17/14
04/16/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Ex 12:1-8, 11-14
Second Reading:: 1 Cor 11:23-26
Gospel:: Jn 13:1-15

Homily of the Day

Jn 13:1-15

Homily
Date
04/17/14
04/16/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: