VATICAN CITY – A Vatican decree established new statutes and norms for Caritas Internationalis, giving Vatican offices, including the Secretariat of State, greater authority over the work of the Vatican-based umbrella group of Catholic aid agencies.
The decree strengthens the roles Vatican offices and the pope play in working with the charity confederation, including naming and approving new board members and approving its texts, contracts with foreign governments and financial transactions.
It also creates a special “support commission” of legal, technical and organisational experts named by the pope to help the organisation follow the new norms as well as canon law and the laws of Vatican City State concerning the procurement and distribution of aid, and employment of workers.
At least three members of Caritas’ executive board will be papal appointees.
The general decree – signed by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, and approved by Pope Benedict XVI – was published by the Vatican on May 2 and went into effect the same day. - CNS