Philippine Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila was elected president of Caritas Internationalis, the confederation of 165 national Catholic charities, during the organization's general assembly in Rome.
Catholic Relief Services
More than 3,600 people were known to have been killed and more than 6,500 others injured after a magnitude-7.8 earthquake hit a mountainous region near Kathmandu.
Addressing the church at the beginning of Lent, Pope Francis called on Christians to "become islands of mercy in the midst of the sea of indifference."
Despite rebuilding efforts, more than 85,000 people still live in dozens of tent camps across Haiti's expansive earthquake zone.
The president of the U.S. bishops' conference on Tuesday asked Catholic bishops across the country to take up a special collection for humanitarian needs and pastoral support for Christians and other victims of violence in the Middle East.
Amid the ongoing crisis in what is "the cradle of Christianity," the Catholic church "mourns the terrible suffering of Christians and other innocent victims of violence in Iraq, Syria and Gaza who are struggling to survive, protect their children and live with dignity in dire conditions," said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright recently summed up the state of current events this way: "The world is a mess." And that blunt comment is an understatement. Perhaps adding the word "desperate" would make her statement more accurate.
What to do? Pope Francis' recommendation: Go out to the fringes of society, serve the poor, the sick, the hungry, the migrants, the refugees, the dying. Often, these locations are conflict-filled.
An emergency adviser for Catholic Relief Services said many Filipinos learned from last year’s Typhoon Haiyan and willingly went to shelters before Typhoon Rammasun struck earlier this month.
An emotional Cardinal Luis Tagle welcomed Catholic leaders reviewing typhoon recovery efforts, saying that rebuilding communities can show the world a church united.
“The poor are not on the margins of the church; the poor are in the center of the church,” the general secretary of Caritas Internationalist told 500 activists.
Making a Difference: For countless poor human beings in the shadows of our nation and world, it is not the most wonderful time of the year.