World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Caritas (charity)

Caritas Internationalis
Founded 9 November 1897[1]
(118 years ago)
Founder Lorenz Werthmann
Focus Humanitarian aid, International development and social service
Area served
Key people

Luis Antonio Tagle, president

Michel Roy, CEO
The Caritas House in Caine Road, Mid-levels, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong.
St. Nicholas Orphanage, established by Caritas in Novosibirsk, Russia.

Caritas Internationalis is a confederation of 165[2] Catholic relief, development and social service organisations operating in over 200 countries and territories worldwide.

Collectively and individually their claimed mission is to work to build a better world, especially for the Lorenz Werthmann 9 November 1897 in Germany.[1] Other national Caritas organisations were soon formed in Switzerland (1901) and the United States (Catholic Charities, 1910).


  • History 1
  • Caritas national and regional agencies 2
    • Africa 2.1
    • Asia 2.2
    • Europe 2.3
    • North America, Central America and the Caribbean 2.4
    • Oceania 2.5
    • South America 2.6
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


In July 1924, during the international Eucharistic Congress in Amsterdam, 60 delegates from 22 countries formed a conference, with headquarters at Caritas Switzerland in Lucerne. In 1928, the conference became known as Caritas Catholica. The delegates met every two years until the outbreak of the Second World War when all activities came to a standstill.

Work resumed in 1947, with the approval of the Secretariat of State, and two conferences convened in United Nations.

The Pope Paul VI, a study week, with participants from 22 countries, was held in Rome to examine the problems of Christian Caritas work. As a result, the decision was made to set up an international conference of Roman Catholic charities.

In December 1951, upon approval of the statutes by the Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States. The Church describes Caritas as its official voice “in relation to its teachings in the area of charity work”.[4]

In 1954, the Confederation changed its name to Caritas Internationalis to reflect the international presence of Caritas members on every continent.[4] As of 2015, the Confederation has 164 members working in over 200 countries and territories. Its General Secretariat is located in the Palazzo San Calisto in Vatican City.

The President of Caritas Internationalis is Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle and the Secretary General is Michel Roy.

Caritas national and regional agencies

The full membership list of Caritas organisations includes:


45 national agencies in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Chad – SECADEV (Caritas Chad) has partnered with the Canadian bishops' Development and Peace program to provided essential aid for Sudanese refugees in Chad, including access to water, financing for small businesses and agricultural projects.[5]
  • Egypt – (part of MENA regional agency )
  • Kenya – Caritas Nairobi- operated by the Archdiocese of Nairobi
  • Nigeria – Caritas Nigeria claaims to wor with local diocesan Caritas to bring relief to displaced families in the North East region displaced because of attacks by Boko Haram.[6]


23 national agencies including:

  • Cambodia – Caritas Cambodia
  • Hong KongCaritas Hong Kong operated by the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong
  • Indonesia – Caritas Indonesia – KARINA
  • [7]
  • Japan – Caritas Japan
  • Korea – Caritas Korea
  • Macau – Caritas de Macau – established the Family Casework & Assistance Service, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Home for the Elderly, St. Luis Gonzaga Center for the Disabled and Institute of Social Work, the first Institute in Macau offering training for social workers.[8]
  • Nepal-
  • Philippines – Caritas Manila claims a focus on Education, Health, and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management as flagship programs.[9]
  • Singapore – Caritas Singapore
  • VietnamCaritas Việt Nam (26 members of the diocesan)
  • MENA regional agency Caritas MONA] with 17 national agencies including:
    • Cyprus
    • Jordan – Caritas Jordan has taken part in efforts to support displaced Syrians since December 2011 and is still active in addressing the needs of refugees.[10]
    • Lebanon – Caritas Lebanon works through different centers throughout the country, delivering food parcels, hygiene kits and blankets to refugee families from war-torn Syria. There is also medical assistance through mobile clinics and health centers.[11]
    • Syria


Nursery home of the German Caritas

Caritas Europa with 48 national agencies including:

North America, Central America and the Caribbean


6 regional agencies, including:

  • Australia – Caritas Australia claims involvement in peacebuilding and reconciliation programs in Brazil, Sri Lanka, The Philippines, Papua New Guinea and elsewhere.[14]
  • New Zealand – Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Papua New Guinea – Caritas PNG
  • Caritas Samoa claims to give assistance to low income families, provides capacity-building initiatives for women, help with the improvement of rural waters supplies, and provides assistance to address needs caused by natural disasters.[2]

South America

See also


  1. ^ a b "The History of Caritas in Germany". Caritas Deutschland. Retrieved 27 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b , July 13, 2013Samoa Observer"Caritas means charity – In Samoan it means Alofa",
  3. ^ Caritas Internationalis
  4. ^ a b "History", Caritas Internationalis
  5. ^ "SECADEV (Caritas Chad)", Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace
  6. ^ Agrinya, Cecilia. "Boko Haram threatens Nigeria’s Home of Peace", Caritas – Peacebuilding, September 12, 2014
  7. ^ "Caritas India sees surge in local donors". Retrieved 2015-09-09. 
  8. ^ "About us", Caritas de Macau
  9. ^ "History", Caritas Manila
  10. ^ "Humanitarian Respond (sic) towards Syrian Refugees in Jordan", Caritas Jordan
  11. ^ de Voogd, Jos. "Temperature drop in Lebanon leaving Syrian refugees out in cold", Caritas Internationalis, December 14, 2012
  12. ^ "What is Caritas?", Caritas Ukraine
  13. ^ "About Us", Caritas Canada
  14. ^ "Peacebuilding and reconciliation, Caritas Australia

External links

  • Caritas Internationalis
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.