Papal push: Caritas leader sees ‘Francis effect’ at work on the ground

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May 7, 2015

A sign, written by earthquake survivors, asks for help and hangs on the wall of their temporary shelter in Bhaktapur, Nepal, May 2. (CNS photo/Hemanta Shrestha, EPA) See VATICAN LETTER May 7, 2015.

A sign, written by earthquake survivors, asks for help and hangs on the wall of their temporary shelter in Bhaktapur, Nepal, May 2. (CNS photo/Hemanta Shrestha, EPA)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Catholic charities around the world have no doubt about the reality of a “Francis effect” on their work.

Because of the ongoing global economic crisis, most of the 164 national Catholic charities that form the Caritas Internationalis confederation report no significant increase in donations. However, the secretary-general of the Vatican-based network says Pope Francis has had a huge impact on their programs and priorities, on the number of volunteers and, especially, on their sharing.

Michel Roy, the secretary-general, said even the smallest and materially poorest national Caritas organizations are donating what they can, for example, to help people impacted by the earthquake in Nepal April 25.

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