VATICAN – Committee appointed to distribute money collected for Ukraine
The Vatican announced that a committee has been appointed that will be responsible for the distribution of the funds gathered in the Pope’s recent special collection for Ukraine. The Holy See press office announced:
“As is known, following the tragic hostilities in the east of Ukraine, the Holy Father Francis has promoted humanitarian action, entitled “The Pope for Ukraine”, in support of the affected populations resident there and those who have fled to other parts of the country.
To support this action, the Pope offered a personal contribution and called for a collection which took place on Sunday 24 April in all Catholic churches throughout Europe. The proceeds are destined exclusively for the benefit of the population afflicted by war, without distinction on the basis of religion, confession or ethnic origin.”
Pope Francis decided to constitute a special ‘technical’ committee to oversee the distribution of these funds that will be based in Ukraine. The committee will consist of a president and four members, according to a letter sent by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin to Bishop Jan Sobilo, auxiliary of Kharkiv-Zaporizhia, appointing him as president of the Committee.
The president will appoint all the other members, except one who will be indicated in agreement with ‘Caritas Internationalis’ and the Pontifical Council ‘Cor Unum’. The Committee will have a one year mandate, renewable if necessary, and will be based in the Curia of the diocese of Kharkiv-Zaporizhia. To ensure that all the money collected will be used effectively to help those affected by war, workers who act on behalf of the Committee – either at its central office or in the field – will be volunteers.
Cardinal Paolin’s letter sets out the conditions regarding the choice of interventions to be carried out: the proposals must be received firstly ‘from interreligious or interconfessional assemblies existing in the single areas, or from individual Bishops, also non-Catholic, where such assemblies do not exist’, but proposals from other organisations may also be considered.
As this is Pope Francis’ personal initiative, the Secretariat of State and the Pontifical Council ‘Cor Unum’, via the apostolic nunciature in Ukraine, will assume overall responsibility for the project. The Pontifical Council will oversee technical supervision of its implementation.
Cardinal Parolin will visit Ukraine this month
This month, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, State Secretary of the Apostolic See, will visit Ukraine to express the Pope’s solidarity with the people of the country who are suffering. He emphasised that the Pope is “particularly concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation caused by the ongoing conflict”, which forced more than 1.5 million people to leave their homes. He noted that the Catholic Church, although it is a minority in Ukraine, is “trying to respond to the needs of the population,” adding that the Holy See is preparing a “number of initiatives to help everyone, regardless of religious affiliation.”
Speaking about the diplomatic activity of the Holy See, the Secretary of State explained that it is far from a “purely political and commercial approach” and focuses mainly on the “four basic principles”, which are the dignity of the human person, support for the common good, solidarity and subsidiarity. He stressed the importance of human rights, which should not be reduced to individualism, but must be considered essential for human life and dignity.
Cardinal Parolin emphasized the importance of respect for international humanitarian law and again called on interested parties to “step on the path of dialogue to address the pressing problems and alleviate the suffering of the population.”