Jun 14, 2014 / 06:04 am
Catholic Relief Services’ chairman has affirmed the international aid agency’s strength and effective representation of the bishops’ conference, especially lauding its aid to the Philippines.
“I can confirm that CRS, as the overseas international aid, relief, and development arm of this conference – representing us – is strong and representing us well in the Philippines and around the world,” Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City said June 11 in New Orleans.
Archbishop Coakley’s report to the U.S. bishops during their annual spring meeting focused on Catholic Relief Services response to last year’s Typhoon Haiyan. The storm pummeled the Philippines Nov. 8, 2013, killing more than 6,000 and displacing more than 4 million.
He was introduced by conference president, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, who recounted their visit along with CRS staff to the Philippines to meet with local leaders shortly after the storm struck.
Archbishop Kurtz explained the joint trip was both an act of solidarity with the Filipino people, and was to “bring to the public the extraordinary recovery work that’s been taking place, thanks in many ways to the wonderful generosity of people throughout the U.S., and to witness to the effective cooperation between our conference and CRS.”
He noted that typhoon recovery in the Philippines has been “assisted greatly by the tremendous generosity of the faithful,” noting that the diocese of the U.S. have given $21 million to the Typhoon Haiyan special collection.
Archbishop Coakley, who was appointed CRS chairman last November, said he is “pleased to report that CRS emergency responders were on the ground and working with the local Church – bishops, Caritas in the Philippines, religious communities – immediately after the super typhoon struck,” noting that the agency already had staff in the Philippines before the storm’s landfall.
“The first delegation from CRS headquarters and our board left the USA even before our November meeting finished, and arrived within a week of the disaster. The response was immediate.”
He affirmed the CRS team on the ground in the Philippines, saying they are “living and working, as the Holy Father and our Lord would want, with the poor, in solidarity with those on the margins, peripheries.” …
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