February 20, 2015
The Catholic Church through its humanitarian arm NASSA/Caritas Philippines has responded to Pope Francis’ Lenten message of renewal for the Church, saying they are one with him in the fight against the ‘globalization of indifference.’
According to NASSA/Caritas Philippines National Director Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona, O.C.D., the Lenten season is, indeed, a time for the Church and its people to reflect on the cries of the poor and oppressed.
“By listening to the poor, and joining the fight against the destruction of the environment especially in depressed areas, we can truly immerse ourselves in the call against the ‘globalization of indifference’. Faith and charity should go side by side if we want to overcome this indifference.” Archbishop Tirona said.
NASSA/Caritas Philippines has advocacies on agrarian reform and the protection of the environment, extending support to fishermen and farmers displaced by Typhoon Yolanda and victimized by the land grabbing case in Sicogon Island in Iloilo.
This is apart from a three-year program for Yolanda’ survivors across nine provinces/dioceses, which aims to provide: disaster resilient shelters, food security and livelihood assistance, WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) facilities, ecosystems recovery, disaster risk reduction trainings, and community organizing.
Tirona added that this is a privilege and a responsibility to answer to the Pope’s call, as a Church which is a family bound by solidarity and a community of love.
NASSA/Caritas Philippines, which represents the country to Caritas Internationalis, will be holding its General Assembly in May this year in Rome with a theme focused on Pope Francis’ call to create a Church for the Poor.
The Pope earlier laid down a challenge to Caritas Internationalis, the umbrella organization for Catholic charities around the world that works hand-in-hand with the Vatican, to be a sign of God’s love for humanity.
It can be recalled that the Pope marked his recent apostolic visit in the Philippines by giving emphasis to the poor, the children and those affected by the recent calamities that struck the country.
Jing Rey Henderson
Senior Communications Officer
(0905) 546-9977 / 525-1924