Wolfensohn to speak at Vatican Conference

James Wolfensohn, the Ausralian former president of the World Bank, will be the keynote speaker at next week's Vatican conference on charity, organized by the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.

Catholic World News reports that more than 200 invited guests - including Church leaders, UN officials, ambassadors, and relief workers - will participate in the conference, which will be held in the Synod Hall.

Pope Benedict XVI will address the seminar at midday on 23 January.

The timing of the conference ensures extra attention to the subject. The Cor Unum seminar will take place on the two days before the release of Pope Benedict's first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, which includes a lengthy section on the charitable efforts of the Catholic Church. Cor Unum helped the Pope in drafting the document, with a detailed reports on Church relief efforts.

Among the other speakers scheduled to address the two-day conference are Denis Vienot, the president of Caritas International, the Catholic humanitarian network; and Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, he will speak on the theological aspects of charitable work. The conference will end with a Mass in the Vatican basilica, at which Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, the vice-dean of the College of Cardinals, will preside.

Charitable efforts in focus at Vatican conference (Catholic World News 18/1/06)

Pontifical Council "Cor Unum"
Plutocrat for the poor (BBC 14/9/00)
James Wolfensohn (Wikipedia)

19 Jan 2006