Sydney (Agenzia Fides) – The Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference (ACBC) has invited all Australians to show their support for the poorest of the poor in response to their annual appeal – Project Compassion – just launched by Caritas Australia. According the ACBC's press release, Project Compassion is the largest aid and development fundraiser in Australia which has taken place during the season of Lent for the past forty years. Funds raised through Project Compassion enable Caritas Australia to champion the human dignity and rights of all people. The theme of Project Compassion in 2001 is “Partner with us to make a difference”, a message which points to the heart of Caritas Australia's mission as a Catholic agency for grass-roots development.
The President of the ACBC, Archbishop Philip Wilson, urged all Australians to support Caritas. “Caritas Australia gives expression to the Gospel imperative of pursuing justice and helping those suffering from poverty and disadvantage,” says the message from Archbishop Wilson. CEO of Caritas Australia, Jack deGroot, said that more than ever communities living in extreme poverty rely on the solid, grassroots approach of Caritas. “In the 2009-10 financial year, an additional 64 million people were plunged into poverty the world over.... Caritas is an institution which provides much hope for vulnerable communities.” (AP) (7/3/2011 Agenzia Fides)