Archbishop Jose Maria Arancedo of Vera Cruz, Argentina thanked international Catholic charity Caritas for its work in helping those most in need around the globe.
“The greatest act of charity is to stand man up and make him aware of his dignity and status as a child of God,” he said.
In his weekly message issued on July 14, Archbishop Arancedo recalled that the social work of the Church cannot be reduced to material aid, but instead aims to bear witness to “the centrality of man as a spiritual being and a child of God.”
“The Social Doctrine of the Church is part of moral theology, and it is like the temporal resonance of the gospel,” the archbishop said. “When the spiritual and the social are separated, their common origin, which is Jesus Christ, and their common end, which is man, are ignored.”
In this sense, he continued, “Sensitivity towards those who suffer and a life of charity are the expressions of a mature faith committed to the mission of Jesus Christ. The Church’s work in the missions has always witnessed to this truth.”
For this reason, the archbishop expressed gratitude to Caritas for the work it carries out in local communities.
“It would not be possible to understand the Church in her fidelity to Jesus Christ if she did not show her closeness to pain and misery, not only to understand it and extract statistics, which are necessary, but also to be close to them and take them upon herself like Jesus Christ did,” he noted.
“Caritas is an expression of a committed faith that is lived out.”
Archbishop Arancedo also observed that there “need not be an opposition between evangelization and human promotion. Both fall under the gaze of the Gospel. The Church evangelizes man by promoting him, and she promotes him by evangelizing him.”