Caritas Internationalis is a network of Roman Catholic charities. In December 1951, Caritas Internationalis was founded when 13 Roman Catholic organizations that were active in the field of charity, social work, and humanitarian emergencies decided to collaborate in an international network.
One of these was Caritas Nederland (currently known as Cordaid Mensen in Nood). In the following years Caritas Internationalis expanded to a worldwide network of 165 Roman Catholic caritas-organizations. Consequently, the network has a permanent presence in most of the world’s countries.
Caritas Internationalis comes into action when an emergency occurs. However, it has a wider scope. Acting on its Christian values, the caritas-organizations collaborate all over the world with the poor, the vulnerable and the excluded, regardless of their race or religion.
Caritas president, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila: “Caritas will work towards putting the human family and human dignity at the heart of development.”
One Human Family, Caring for Creation
This international Roman Catholic network’s greatest strength is its members’ diversity, which ranges from small groups of volunteers to some of the world’s largest humanitarian and development organizations. Local knowledge at a grass-roots level is combined with the expertise and resources of a global network.
Caritas participates with other faith-based, secular organizations as well as with the United Nations in order to improve the coordination in disasters for the benefit of providing relief that is as efficient as possible.
Cordaid has been a member of Caritas Internationalis since 1951 and remains so today.