The Conference of the International Catholic Organizations, meeting at an extraordinary General Assembly on June 19, has voted to dissolve itself by a vote approved by more than two thirds of its members. Member organizations will become part of a new Forum for Catholic NGOs.
The dissolution of the conference follows a one-year process of multilateral dialogue.
The conference began in 1927, with many member institutions being of French origin. The membership has remained largely static for years, with few new organizations joining. Many of its older organizations have also become dormant.
The conference’s disbanding aims to allow the further progress of the new Catholic NGO Forum, which was initiated by the Vatican Secretariat of State. The new Forum held its first meeting in Rome in November 2007 and includes an additional 100 Catholic-inspired NGOs.
A press release from the Conference of the International Catholic Organizations said the action helps form a more effective network to respond to global challenges within the framework of the United Nations and other intergovernmental authorities.
According to the press release, the move will allow public and private international Catholic associations of the lay faithful, as well as religious congregations, to organize around the same objectives and to engage in “common witness to evangelical values and those conveyed by the social teaching of the Church.”