Amparo Alonso: “We had to ensure a more serene working environment”

Until now, she was Director of Advocacy and Campaigns for Caritas Internationalis, a job she also did for some time in the offices of Cáritas Española. How will this professional experience help you in your new task?
Since I started working with Cáritas in the field 28 years ago, I have learned the fundamental role that the institution develops by accompanying the most forgotten people, in the four corners of the planet. At the heart of our work for social justice and integral development are always the people, the most vulnerable; there are no numbers or statistics, there are people. We work with them and, behind each one, there is a life story that deserves to be respected, a dignity that deserves to be always, and above all, recognized. Each person is the protagonist of their development, and Cáritas listens, welcomes, promotes, promotes and responds. It is the center that has always moved my work, in all the tasks that I have carried out, whether in the social economy, whether in international cooperation, or in my global political advocacy work. On the other hand, knowledge of this entire confederation, which brings together 162 national Caritas, will be very important in my role of accompanying the new extraordinary commissioner.

How did you receive your appointment to lead the reform process of Caritas Internationalis?
With great gratitude for the trust that the Holy Father has placed in me, and with great commitment, responsibility, humility and dedication to this task entrusted to me for the next six months.

How do you define the work you have to do now? What will your powers be?
My task is to support the Extraordinary Commissioner, Pier Francesco Pinelli —appointed by the Pope on November 22—in these six months of his mandate to review the internal procedures necessary to improve our work in the service of a world confederation. The idea is to prepare well for the next General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis, and to accompany all the staff, whom I know well and of whom I am very proud to be a part, since I worked for several years with the General Secretariat of first from Geneva, as Director of the United Nations Office, and, since 2020, from Rome.

Follow the reform

A law of the Vatican City State and a of their own free will of Pope Francis took a further step last Tuesday in the reform of the Curia. The change aims to regulate the bodies born within the different dicasteries, to apply the principles of the apostolic constitution Preaching Evangelium. It is provided that their patrimony is also subject to the control of the economic organs of the Curia, and not only to that of the institutions on which they depend.

What type of elements or evidence triggered the investigation of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development?
After listening carefully to all employees, it became necessary to ensure a more serene work environment to promote internal coordination and the feeling of efficiency and satisfaction that comes from doing one’s own work. The principle of attention to the person and attention to safeguarding the organization’s own mission guided the work of the department’s evaluation commission. We hope that the renewal of the Caritas Internationalis Secretariat will also bring vigor and momentum to the work of each of the member Caritas.

According to the Vatican press release, the audit revealed “shortcomings in management procedures, which also had a negative effect on team spirit and staff morale.” Was there abuse of power? What was the main cause?
The evaluation carried out at Caritas Internationalis was based precisely on the attentive and participative listening of all the workers. This pooling made it possible to observe the operation of the structure, in its trajectories and its objectives, and thus to capture both what was positive, functional and operational in the accomplishment of its mission and what over time of time produced setbacks and obtaining needs. better.

Cardinal Tagle said there were no cases of sexual abuse or financial mismanagement Why did the pope decide to sack the entire leadership of the organization just months from the General Assembly in which elections will be held to renew government positions?
In view of the next General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis, the decision to withdraw from their respective functions all the personalities called upon to direct and coordinate the work of the organization stems from the desire to promote a common restart, which goes beyond the necessary revision of the current normative framework — as the Holy Father pointed out — to move forward on new paths and methods, also designed to return to work with enthusiasm and confidence.

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