Pope Benedict XVI has issued new legislation for church-run charities that aims to foster in them a more explicitly Catholic identity and ensure that their staff members and supporters follow Catholic moral teaching, reports The Tablet.
The legislation appeared to be the latest chapter in the Vatican's years-long effort to reform and gain greater control over the worldwide confederation, Caritas Internationalis, and its 165 national and regional members.
Under the new legislation, published last Saturday in a new "motu proprio", bishops and parish priests will be given direct authority over local Caritas agencies and other church-affiliated NGOs.
NCR Online reports that: a charitable group may call itself "Catholic" only with the written consent of church authorities. If a particular outfit is deemed to be no longer "in conformity with the church's teaching," the bishop should make that known and take steps to prevent it from using the title "Catholic," and:
Personnel must "share, or at least respect" the Catholic identity of church-affiliated charitable organizations, and must also "give an example of Christian life" beyond their professional competence.
Pope orders Catholic charities to stress their faith identity (Tablet)
New rules aim to beef up Catholic identity of church charities (NCR)