Print Version    Email to Friend
Aid to Church in Need gets pontifical status

VATICAN (SE): The international Catholic charity, Aid to the Church in Need, has been made a pontifical foundation with the prefect for the Congregation of the Clergy, Mauro Cardinal Piacenza, as its president.

The Vatican press release does not give any reason for this move nor does it elaborate on what influence the Vatican will have on it, other than to say that the organisation will maintain its headquarters in Konigstein, Germany, and fall under the Vatican umbrella.

Springing from work done by Dutch priest, Father Werenfried van Straaten, among displaced people in the wake of World War II, the charity is now 60 years old. 

He became known as the Bacon Priest, as he seemed to have an inexhaustible supply of the food for hungry people.

Today, Aid to the Church in Need has foundations in 16 different countries, mostly in Europe, with Canada, the United States of America and Chile in the Americas, as well as Australia. It runs an annual budget of US$70 million ($554.5 million) and supports 5,000 projects in 140 countries.

Mostly known for its support of Churches in countries behind the Iron and Bamboo Curtains, it has specialised in supporting seminarians and is mostly known for the traditional images it presents in its advertising.

In a December 6 press release, Aid for the Church in Need says it will continue as before, in a spirit of active charity, acting in the name of the Church. “We are committed to strengthening and deepening Catholic faith and moral life,” the press release reads.

More from this section