Message modified by board administrator 24/5/2012, 11:02 am
New governing body for ACN
As part of the structural reordering of the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) as a Foundation of Pontifical Right (a change initiated by Pope Benedict XVI), the supreme governing body of this foundation, the Administrative Council, was formally established in Rome on the 22nd May 2012.
The Chairman of this body is Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, who was previously appointed by the Pope as President of the Foundation. The Executive President of the new Foundation, Johannes Freiherr Heereman, likewise belongs to this body as the representative of the President. The other members are seven bishops, while an additional six experts will shortly also be appointed.
The following are members of the Administrative Council: Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia (USA), Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments; Archbishop Hon Tai-Fa (China), Dean of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota; Bishop Antoni Stankiewicz (Poland), Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation; Archbishop José Octavio Ruiz Arenas (Colombia); Bishop Gregor Maria Hanke of Eichstätt, (Germany); Bishop Eric Aumonier of Versailles (France) and Bishop Mauro Parmeggiani of Tivoli (Italy).
(The Administrative Council of Aid to the Church in Need, a Foundation of Pontifical Right: (from left to right) Mons. Antonio Neri, Undersecretary of the Congregation for the Clergy (not a member of the Administrative Council); Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai (China), Dean of the Tribunal of the Sacred Roman Rota; Bishop Antoni Stankiewicz (Poland), Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation; Archbishop José Octavio Ruiz Arenas (Colombia), first Secretary of the Pontifical Council; Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy and Chairman of the Administrative Council; Johannes Heereman von Zuydtwyck, Vice President for the Administrative Council; Bishop Éric Aumonier of Versailles (France); Fr. Martin Barta, Ecclesiastical Assistant of the Foundation; Bishop Mauro Parmeggiani of Tivoli (Italy); Bishop Gregor Maria Hanke of Eichstätt (Germany) and Monsignor Josef Gehr, Official of the Congregation for the Clergy (not a member of the Administrative Council)
Following the death of the renowned "Bacon Priest" Father Werenfried van Straaten, who for decades shaped the character of ACN, the Pope (who as a cardinal himself belonged to the wide family of its benefactors) two years ago announced an "institutional re-founding" of the charity. The organisation was transformed into an Autonomous Pious Foundation of Pontifical Right and under the civil law of the Vatican City State, with a new administrative structure. In this way the close bond between the charity and the Catholic Church was also juridically consolidated and its importance for the universal Church thereby underlined.
The operative headquarters of ACN will remain as before in the town of Königstein in Germany and its statutory objectives will likewise remain unchanged, namely "to provide material and spiritual help and support to the Church, around the world, especially where the Church is persecuted, or where it faces serious necessity in the fulfilment of its mission, or where it suffers in the most needy of its members". Additional objectives of the Foundation include the support of priests and religious in their pastoral apostolate and the promotion of a range of other initiatives of an ecclesial nature.
One of the characteristic features of the Foundation is the way in which the benefactors form a spiritual family, conscious of their unity in prayer and sacrifice with the suffering Church.
Among the approximately 5,000 aid projects approved annually by ACN there is for example a particular concern for the Church in the countries of the Middle East and in other countries, like Nigeria or Sudan, where in many cases Christians can practise their faith only at risk of their lives. Executive President Johannes Heereman, who has been coordinating and leading the operative direction of the charity, with its national offices in 17 different countries, since November last year, points out that ACN is a work of Christian charity, which seeks to support the Church, in prayer and a spirit of loving sacrifice, wherever it is embattled or oppressed, and likewise where it faces the new pastoral challenges of a secularised world. He is convinced that ACN will emerge spiritually and structurally strengthened from this process of renewal. The new structure will simplify the decision-making process and make it possible to apply the donations of the benefactors still more efficiently and effectively, he believes. Thanks to the benefactors of "Aid to the Church in Need' the charity is able to support projects in 145 countries worldwide.
Directly under the Holy See, Aid to the Church in Need supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need. ACN is a Catholic charity – helping to bring Christ to the world through prayer, information and action.
The charity undertakes thousands of projects every year including providing transport for clergy and lay Church workers, construction of church buildings, funding for priests and nuns and help to train seminarians. Since the initiative’s launch in 1979, Aid to the Church in Need’s Child’s Bible – God Speaks to his Children has been translated into 162 languages and 48 million copies have been distributed all over the world.
While ACN gives full permission for the media to freely make use of the charity’s press releases, please acknowledge ACN as the source of stories when using the material.
For more information or to make a donation to help the work of Aid to the Church in Need, please contact the Australian office of ACN on (02) 9679-1929. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Aid to the Church in Need PO Box 6245 Blacktown DC NSW 2148.
On Line donations can be made at www.aidtochurch.org
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