Caricatures of a good intention

"Once, when I was bishop, I was sent an invitation for a benefit dinner for Caritas. Those who attended were the cream of the crop, as they say. I decided not to go. 

That day, the president at the time was in attendance and, after the first course, a gold Rolex was auctioned off. 

What a disgrace; how humiliating. That was a bad use of charity. It sought a person who would use this watch for vanity in order to feed the poor. 

Thankfully, Caritas no longer does this sort of thing. Nowadays, they work continuously in schools, run shelters for single mothers and the homeless, run a bakery where they also sell the handicrafts that the kids in the technical school make. This is promotion of the poor by the poor themselves. Sometimes things are done in the name of charity that are not charitable; they are like crude caricatures of a good intention. There is no charity without love, and if vanity is part of helping the needy, there is no love; it is feigned charity."


(Jorge Bergoglio)
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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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