Malaysia’s Catholic bishops are setting up Caritas Malaysia to serve the poor in the Muslim-majority country. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia Singapore-Brunei (CBCMSB) recently decided to have one national office embracing all the dioceses in Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia. It will also reorganize its existing Office of Human Development in Malaysia. CBCMSB spoke to Caritas International and Caritas Asia last July before sending two representatives to the Caritas Asia regional retreat and meeting in November. Bishop Bernard Paul of Melaka-Johor has been appointed chairman of Caritas Malaysia, whose office will be in capital Kuala Lumpur. He will call a meeting of representatives from all nine dioceses by the first quarter of the year.
Caritas Internationalis is a confederation of 165 Catholic relief, development and social service organizations operating in over 200 countries and territories. Their missions are to work to build a better world, especially for the poor and oppressed. The first Caritas organization was established by Lorenz Werthmann in 1897 in Germany. Other national Caritas organizations were soon formed in Switzerland and the United States. Caritas Internationalis has its headquarters in Rome, where it coordinates emergency operations, forms development policy and advocates for a better world for everyone. All national Caritas organizations are members of their own regional Caritas networks and the international confederation.
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