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Thursday, January 19, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JAN 19, 2006 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" has organized an international congress on charity, due to be held on January 23 and 24 in the Vatican's New Synod Hall. The theme of the event, taken from St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians, is : " ... But the greatest of these is love."

  The congress, which takes place immediately prior to the publication of Benedict XVI's first Encyclical, "Deus Caritas est," has the aim of "maintaining alive within the Church a sense of Christian commitment to others," according to a communique released by "Cor Unum" to announce the event.

  The meeting will be inaugurated by Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, president of "Cor Unum," and will be attended by around 200 participants including cardinals, bishops, ambassadors, heads of international aid organizations, and national delegates from Caritas and from non-governmental groups.

  The calendar of events for the morning session of Monday, January 23, includes contributions from James Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank from 1995 to 2005, and from Denis Vienot, president of Caritas Internationalis. Under the moderator, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, Ireland, they will analyze the two great sectors of humanitarian aid: that of civil society and that of the ecclesial world. At midday, Pope Benedict XVI will address the participants. During the afternoon sitting, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls will present six testimonies on "experiences of charity."

  The morning of Tuesday, January 24, will be dedicated to an interview with the Italian film director Liliana Cavani, who has made films on the life of St. Francis of Assisi. She will explain how the call of charity has affected her representation of love on film. Cardinal Francis Eugene George O.M.I., archbishop of Chicago, will conclude the session with a theological lecture on charity.

  The congress will close on the afternoon of the same day with a Eucharistic celebration at 5 p.m. in St. Peter's Basilica, presided by Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, vice dean of the College of Cardinals and president emeritus of the Pontifical Councils of Justice and Peace and "Cor Unum."
CON-CU/CONGRESS CHARITY/CORDES                    VIS 20060119 (360)

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