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The poor knocking at the Pope's door

· A conversation with Archbishop Guido Pozzo, Almoner of His Holiness ·

With 7,000 requests for financial assistance and approximately 900,000 Euros donated in 2011, the Office of Papal Charities testifies to the Pope's “hand” in charity to the poor. His work is all the more important in the face of the continuing economic crisis making it evermore urgent and precious. The Papal Charities operate mainly in the Diocese of Rome but its breath is universal reaching out to other countries, especially those in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Not only individuals of the flock but also charitable associations and institutions of various natures receive such aid. Archbishop Guido Pozzo – appointed Almoner of His Holiness on 3 November and who for more than three years served as Secretary at the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei – spoke about these contributions in an interview with our newspaper.

The principal work of the Papal Charities is precisely to give alms, or better yet, charitable work in the name and on behalf of the Pope. The primary task is working everyday with discretion to fulfill this task. The issues paint a fairly complex and varied picture of poverty which recently has begun to afflict even areas and people who until now have enjoyed a kind of economic well-being. The destitute and misery concern the whole person and not only under a strictly financial profile. The requests for aid must be accompanied by a certificate of a parish priest and it is these priests which receive the financial aid which then pass it along to the concerned party. In fact it is important that the generous act of the Pontiff is inserted and integrated in solidarity of the local Church and of the Christian parish community. The donations are modest in proportion precisely because they are designed to reach the greatest number of people.




St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 17, 2019