Aid to the Church in Need

Last updated
Aid to the Church in Need
German: Kirche in Not
Aid to the Church in Need Logo 2018.png
Aid to the Church in Need logo (2018).
Founder Werenfried van Straaten
Founded at West Germany
Type pastoral aid organization
Location
Region
International
Cardinal Mauro Piacenza
Parent organization
Catholic Church
Website acninternational.org

Aid to the Church in Need (German : Kirche in Not, Italian : Aiuto alla Chiesa che Soffre) is an international Catholic pastoral aid organization, which yearly offers financial support to more than 5,000 projects worldwide. It aims to help Christians in need wherever they are repressed or persecuted and therefore prevented from living according to their faith.

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium and Liechtenstein. It is one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages that are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch, including Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

Italian language Romance language

Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family. Italian descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire and, together with Sardinian, is by most measures the closest language to it of the Romance languages. Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino and Vatican City. It has an official minority status in western Istria. It formerly had official status in Albania, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro (Kotor) and Greece, and is generally understood in Corsica and Savoie. It also used to be an official language in the former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa, where it still plays a significant role in various sectors. Italian is also spoken by large expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia. Italian is included under the languages covered by the European Charter for Regional or Minority languages in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Romania, although Italian is neither a co-official nor a protected language in these countries. Many speakers of Italian are native bilinguals of both Italian and other regional languages.

Pastoral care is an ancient model of emotional, social and spiritual support that can be found in all cultures and traditions. The term is considered inclusive of distinctly non-religious forms of support as well as of those from religious communities.

Contents

Aid to the Church in Need's General Secretariat and Project Headquarters is in Königstein, Germany. With 23 national offices, Aid to the Church in Need provides aid to Catholic communities in more than 140 countries around the world.

Königstein im Taunus Place in Hesse, Germany

Königstein im Taunus is a health spa and lies on the thickly wooded slopes of the Taunus in Hesse, Germany. The town is part of the Frankfurt Rhein-Main urban area. Owing to its advantageous location for both scenery and transport on the edge of the Frankfurt Rhine Main Region, Königstein is a favourite residential town. Neighbouring places are Kronberg im Taunus, Glashütten, Schwalbach am Taunus, Bad Soden am Taunus and Kelkheim.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

History

The roots of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) go back to the time after World War II. As Europe lay shattered, millions of people were fleeing, the majority were homeless and tormented by hunger. This also affected those expelled from East Germany. For the Dutch priest Father Werenfried van Straaten [1] [2] the Stunde Null was the starting point of his life's work. In 1947 he founded Aid to the Eastern Priests, which shortly after became the aid organisation, Aid to the Church in Need. His relief organisation provided food and clothes for millions of East German refugees. In his appeals he preached compassion and reconciliation, and eventually encouraged many people to support the cause. Many supporters donated goods and food, rather than money; sides of pork were often donated, and van Straaten became known as the 'Bacon Priest'. The initial goal was to aid refugees who fled or were expelled from Eastern Europe in the wake of the Second World War, many of them Catholic. [1]

World War II 1939–1945, between Axis and Allies

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from more than 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

East Germany Former communist state, 1949-1990

East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic, was a state that existed from 1949 to 1990, when the eastern portion of Germany was part of the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. Commonly described as a communist state in English usage, it described itself as a socialist "workers' and peasants' state." It consisted of territory that was administered and occupied by Soviet forces at the end of World War II — the Soviet occupation zone of the Potsdam Agreement, bounded on the east by the Oder–Neisse line. The Soviet zone surrounded West Berlin but did not include it; as a result, West Berlin remained outside the jurisdiction of the GDR.

Werenfried van Straaten Dutch priest and activist

Werenfried van Straaten, born Philippus Johannes Hendricus van Straaten O. Praem., was a Dutch Roman Catholic priest and social activist. He was a Premonstratensian priest expatriate in Germany, who became known for his humanitarian work, particularly as founder of the international Catholic association Aid to the Church in Need. He was known affectuously as the "Bacon Priest".

In June 2002 the charity was described by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope, then Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) as “a gift of Providence for our time”. He stated that Aid to the Church in Need had “...turned out to be one of the most important Catholic charities... It is working in a worthwhile manner all over the world. “Our world is hungering and thirsting for witnesses of the risen Lord, for human beings who pass on the Faith in word and deed as well as for human beings who stand by those in need.”[ citation needed ]

During his pontificate, in December 2011, Pope Benedict XVI recognised the importance of Aid to the Church in Need’s work by elevating the charity to a Pontifical Foundation of the Catholic Church. At the same time, the Pope appointed the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, to the position of President of the Foundation. [3] [4]

Di diritto pontificio is the Italian term for “of pontifical right”. It is given to the ecclesiastical institutions either created by the Holy See or approved by it with the formal decree, known by its Latin name, Decretum laudis [“decree of praise”].

Prefect Magisterial title

Prefect is a magisterial title of varying definition, but essentially refers to the leader of an administrative area.

The Congregation for the Clergy is the congregation of the Roman Curia responsible for overseeing matters regarding priests and deacons not belonging to religious orders. The Congregation for the Clergy handles requests for dispensation from active priestly ministry, as well as the legislation governing presbyteral councils and other organisations of priests around the world. The Congregation does not deal with clerical sexual abuse cases, as those are handled exclusively by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

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References

  1. 1 2 "Obituaries: Father Werenfried van Straaten". Daily Telegraph . February 1, 2003. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  2. Bogle, Joanna (2001). Fr Werenfried: A Life. Gracewing. p. 20. ISBN   978-0852444795.
  3. "Aid to the Church in Need is raised to the status of a Pontifical Foundation by Pope Benedict XVI". www.vietcatholic.net. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
  4. "Pope declares Aid to Church in Need a pontifical foundation". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 2019-10-26.