Pope Benedict XVI’s passion for integral human development inspires Project Compassion 2013

Project Compassion 2013

Media Release, 13 February, 2013

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) today called on Australians to support Project Compassion, the annual Lenten appeal of Caritas Australia, the Catholic agency for international aid and development.

As one of Australia’s largest humanitarian fundraisers, Project Compassion brings together thousands of Australians in solidarity with the world’s poor and in 2013 its message of hope remains as powerful as ever.

Project Compassion 2013 is based on these inspiring words of Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical Spe Salvi, 35:“We work towards a brighter and more humane world so as to open doors into the future.”

These wise words from Pope Benedict XVI highlight how it is through a hope held firmly though love that Christians find courage to take action and bring hope to others.

On the back of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Denis Hart, President of the ACBC paid tribute to the strong work The Holy Father has covered in his eight years as Pope.

“He has given great emphasis to the importance of Catholics opening their hearts and expressing their faith in Jesus Christ by following his example of compassion through the poor”, said Archbishop Hart.

“All three encyclicals delivered by Pope Benedict are testament to his strong leadership and guidance for the human family to unite for the common good and centre their lives on God’s greatest resources, our brothers and sisters.

“It is a fitting tribute to Pope Benedict XVI’s solid social justice work that the largest humanitarian fundraiser of the Catholic Church in Australia is based on the words of his Holiness, ‘Open doors into the future.’”

Archbishop Hart said it is thanks to the support of the Australian Catholic community during Project Compassion that Caritas Australia’s partners around the world are changing lives and opening doors into education, sustainable livelihoods, affordable healthcare and supportive, safe environments.

”Through Caritas Australia’s integral human development work doors of opportunity are opened, the lives of young people, their families and communities are transformed,” Archbishop Hart said.

Archbishop Philip Wilson, Chairman of Caritas Australia says: “In this, the Year of Grace and over the six weeks of Lent, I invite you to contemplate the face of Christ in every Project Compassion participant. Their hopeful stories are an example of what is possible through our faith in Jesus Christ when we follow his example in his compassion for the poor.

This year’s Project Compassion stories are about children, young people and the communities who support them.

“As we travel through lent towards the Resurrection, let us support Project Compassion so that alongside Caritas Australia and communities living in poverty, we can help to build a more humane world and a brighter future for everyone,” Archbishop Wilson said.

“We encourage all Catholics to stand in solidarity with the most marginalised and vulnerable communities in our world by participating in Project Compassion. We look forward to seeing how much we can raise in 2013,” said Archbishop Wilson.

Archbishop Hart concluded: “The Bishops of Australia sincerely thank supporters for giving so generously to Project Compassion in 2012 which broke records and raised $10.7 million. This year, Caritas Australia is striving to reach a fundraising target of $11 million.

For more information on Project Compassion go to www.caritas.org.au/projectcompassion or phone 1800 024 413.

Media contacts:

ACBC: Beth Doherty 0407 081 256 or media@catholic.org.au

Caritas Australia: Nicole Clements 0408 869 833 or nicolec@caritas.org.au.