From 18 to 23 January, on behalf of the Holy Father, Msgr. Giampietro Dal Toso, secretary delegate of the Dicastery for Promoting Human Development, visited Aleppo, along with Cardinal Mario Zenari, apostolic nuncio in Syria, and nunciature advisor Msgr. Thomas Habib. It was the first official visit by Representatives of the Holy See after the end of the hostilities in Aleppo.

The delegation was able to meet the Christian communities and their pastors, who expressed their gratitude to the Pope for his constant attention to beloved Syria. In addition, he visited Catholic charitable institutions and a number of refugee camps. In particular, a centre for humanitarian assistance managed by Caritas Aleppo in the Hanano neighbourhood was inaugurated. During ther mission he participated in a moment of ecumenical prayer organised on the occasion of the week for Christian unity, and the condition of several Catholic hospitals was evaluated in the light of a future project for their reconstruction and resumption of activity.

Furthermore, there were meetings with representatives of Islam, during which emphasis was placed on the responsibility of religions in educating in peace and reconciliation. During the visit the civil and religious authorities paid homage to the delegation, expressing particular gratitude for the Holy Father’s gesture in elevating to the dignity of cardinal the Papal Representative to the country, and acknowledging in this the Pope’s special closeness to the afflicted Syrian population.

Finally, the meetings with Catholic charitable entities highlighted the importance of the assistance they provide for the benefit of all the Syrian population. With the support of the universal Church and thanks to the generous contribution of the international community, such aid can be intensified in the future to face the growing needs of the people. Among the immediate emergencies, special attention is to be paid to the need for food, clothing, education, healthcare and housing.

[Bollettino Sala Stampa B0052-XX.01]

Acts of the International Congress 2016




September 9, 2016: The Pontifical Council Cor Unum announces that the Acts of the International Congress “Love never fails" (1 Cor 13,8). Perspectives 10 years after the Encyclical  Deus Caritas Est are available online in 5 languages. The printed version can be requested from the Dicastery

Italiano  English  Français  Español  Deutsche

Syria: Peace is Possible

Video message from the Holy Father in support of the new Caritas Internationalis campaign for Peace in Syria

July 5 2016

Capacity Building for diocesan staff in Syria

Cor Unum seminar to assist the population of Syria

Vatican City, 30 June 2016 – The Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", in collaboration with the Catholic Relief Service, Aid to the Church in Need and Missio, has organised a seminar to be held from 29 June to 2 July near Beirut, Lebanon, for diocesan staff in Syria dedicated to charitable service in the context of the humanitarian crisis that the country is currently experiencing. It will be attended by eleven bishops, representatives of religious institutes for men and women, and people working in the charitable sector from various dioceses. "Cor Unum" will be represented by the secretary of the dicastery, Msgr. Giampietro Dal Toso, and the apostolic nuncio in Syria, Archbishop Mario Zenari, will also participate.

The initiative originated from a request presented by the representatives of charitable organisations and bishops during the third meeting on the humanitarian crisis in Syria, Iraq and bordering countries, organised by "Cor Unum" in 2015. The aim of the current seminar is to examine the basic elements in order to implement the charitable and humanitarian aid projects for the Middle East, drawn up by these bodies and by national dioceses. The programme, aside from theological formation, also involves specific encountersfor bishops and religious, as well as sessions for technical diocesan staff, dedicated to the analysis of project methods in the humanitarian field. On the days 1 and 2 July, the focus will shift to the specific aspects of capacity-building and project management, and implementation phases: programming, planning, implementation, conclusion and evaluation.

press release

Radio Vaticana: interview with Msgr. Dal Toso



Ecuador, after the earthquake


ecuador 4

Mission of Cor Unum in Ecuador and Colombia  

Vatican City, 15 June 2016 – From 16 to 21 June the Under-Secretary of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", Msgr. Segundo Tejado Muñoz, visited the dioceses of Ecuador affected by the earthquake. In mid-April a quake registering 7.8 on the Richter scale struck the area less than two hundred kilometres from the capital Quito, causing – according to the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs – almost six hundred deaths and thousands of injuries. Several hundred people are missing, while over 21 thousand have been displaced and are in need of immediate shelter, and 150 thousand children have been directly affected.

After urgent first aid sent by "Cor Unum" in the days immediately following the disaster, the mission provided an opportunity to take a concrete sign of the Holy Father's closeness to the afflicted populations, and to evaluate, along with the apostolic nuncio and the local Churches, eventual interventions on behalf of the Holy See to support the rebuilding of houses, schools and other buildings. Government data show, indeed, that over 1,500 buildings have been destroyed or damaged, while many cities have problems related to the supply of electricity, drinking water, and basic sanitation and health services. In this situation the risk of disease linked to the emergency remains high.

From 21 to 24 May Msgr. Tejado Muñoz also went to Colombia for the annual meeting of the managing board of the Populorum Progressio Foundation for Latin America, entrusted since its establishment in 1992 by St. John Paul II, to the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum". During the meeting, the board members, are called to evaluate and deliberate the funding of projects in favour of the indigenous, mestizo, Afro-American and peasant communities of Latin America and the Caribbean for the year 2016. Around ninety projects have already been presented, for a total sum of approximately 1.5 million dollars, and will be put before the Foundation for evaluation.

So far more than 4,000 projects have been implemented by the Foundation, for a total of around 40 million dollars. The projects are addressed in particular to the sectors of agriculture and animal husbandry, crafts and micro-businesses, infrastructure for drinking water, education and provision of materials for schools, healthcare, building, and so on. One of the greatest supporters of the Populorum Progressio Foundation, aside from individual benefactors, is the Italian Episcopal Conference.  

interview with Mons. Tejado - Osservatore Romano (July 19 2016)

Appeal for Emergency in Ukraine

During the Regina Coeli on Sunday, April 3, 2016, the Holy Father announced an extraordinary initiative in favor of those suffering the consequences of violence in Ukraine. A special collection will take place in churches throughout Europe on Sunday, April 24, 2016. The proceeds of the collection will be added to an important sum made available by the Holy Father and will benefit residents in the affected areas and the internally displaced persons

The Pontifical Council Cor Unum will be in charge of evaluating and approving the technical administration of the funds for projects reviewed locally by an ad hoc Commission. At the end of the month of April, Msgr. Giampietro Dal Toso, Secretary of Cor Unum, will participate in a mission to Ukraine.

Mission of Msgr. dal Toso in Ukraine (April 24-27, 2016)