Mission and Tasks of the Commission
Pope Paul VI said that "development is the new name of the gospel". In this sense, Pope Francis, he also affirms that "the Church is called to promote the development of the human person in the light of God" in a healthy environment and without abusive exploitation of natural resources for selfish economic ends.
Jesus Christ came to save every man in his living environment. Outside of his Word-life, he nourished the hungry and denounced injustices and inequalities.
In our world, however, the subjects of concern are not lacking [...] At a time when the development of the [...] economy would mitigate social inequalities and injustices, it too often leads to their aggravation and even here or there, a regression of the social condition of the weak and the contempt of the poor.
In various parts of the world, the political-legal order put in place does not guarantee the rights of the human person. As a result, part of the population is excluded from active participation in life and in the management of public affairs.
Such exclusions are often the source of pain, anguish, exploitation of various kinds, and even armed conflict and wars that leave hungry, naked refugees on the road.
The Church, in her salvific mission, is not only called to feed the hungry and to dress the naked people. Like Christ, the Church must bring good news to the poor, proclaim release to the captives, and restore the sight to the blind. It sets free the oppressed, and announces a year of grace. The Church proclaims blessed the peacemakers, "for they will be called the sons of God."
Earthly peace is not just a pure absence of war, [...] but a "work of justice". Peace is born from the love of neighbor and is the image and effect of the peace of Christ that comes from God the Father. For the son incarnate as a prince of peace ... killed hatred in his own flesh, and after the triumph of the resurrection, he poured the Spirit of charity into the hearts of men.
The Church recognizes that the healing of wounds caused to humankind by the abuse of natural resources, wars and injustices in all its forms requires the active collaboration and solidarity of all men of good will both local, regional, national and international.
The Episcopal Commission for the Integral Development of the Human Being created within the Episcopal Conference of Rwanda has the mission to help the Rwandan episcopate to develop an adapted and active pastoral care for the poor, the excluded and the marginalized of all ages and of all conditions, refugees and prisoners, victims of conflicts and natural disasters, as well as victims of various forms of exploitation.
Through its interventions, the Commission for the Integral Development of Human Being, the Catholic Church in Rwanda is pastorally present in the following sectors : the promotion of social solidarity and charity, the promotion of justice, peace and rights, the promotion of economic development (progress), the protection of vulnerable people (the sick, refugees and migrants, street children, the excluded and those under exploitation).
Thus, this Commission is responsible to :
a) In the field of the promotion of social solidarity and charity :
- Regularly evaluate situations that require the care of the Church towards the needy ;
- Promote fraternity and human solidarity among Rwandan Catholic Christians in order to manifest the charity of Christ,
- Encourage Christians to give witness to evangelical charity,
- Promote and coordinate the initiatives of Catholic organizations whose purpose is to help the poor (including Caritas Rwanda) and to intervene in emergencies,
- Coordinate the Month of Mercy / Charity on behalf of the CEPR,
- Facilitate relations between the CEPR and organizations working in the field of international solidarity,
- Monitor and evaluate the projects and activities implemented by Caritas Nationale in the field of solidarity,
(b) In the area of economic development (progress) :
- Conduct studies on the economic opportunities of the population,
- Collaborate with national and international organizations working in the field of financing community development projects,
- Promote and coordinate advocacy initiatives in the event of possible exclusion of people from economic resources (land, work, financing),
- Evaluate community development projects that operate on behalf of the CEPR or the Administrations dependent on them,
- Develop and disseminate mechanisms of intervention of the Catholic Church in community development,
- Monitor and evaluate the projects and activities implemented by Caritas National in the field of community development,
- c) In the environmental protection :
- Conduct research and develop pastoral mechanisms to protect our "mother nature" in all forms,
- Promote solidarity between the CEPR and the national and international bodies involved in the protection
d) In the field of Justice and Peace and Human Rights :
- Gather and evaluate information and results of surveys and studies on justice and peace and human rights and report to the assembly of Bishops,
- Promote justice, peace and human rights according to the Gospel and the social doctrine of the Church,
- Promote the spread and practice of the social doctrine of the Church by Christians in communities or individually,
- Foster relations and collaboration between the CEPR and national and international organizations, Catholic and non-Catholic that evolve sincerely in the field of justice, peace and human rights,
- Monitor and evaluate projects and activities of solidarity and fraternal help implemented by the CEPR or by the administrations dependent on it,
- Sensitize the Rwandan people to the promotion of peace, especially on the occasion of the world day of peace,
- Maintain collaborative relations with the diocesan commissions in charge of justice and peace and human rights,
- Monitor and evaluate the activities of the National Office for Justice and Peace.
e) In the field of protection of vulnerable persons (sick, refugees, excluded and persons subjected to exploitation ...).
- Make regular studies on the situation of different categories of vulnerable people and propose sustainable and evangelical solutions to their situations,
- Initiate an active pastoral care specifically adapted to each category of vulnerable people,
- Propose and offer an effective and appropriate pastoral assistance to each category of vulnerable people,
- Propose and offer pastoral assistance and collaboration with the staff of the institutions of reception and supervision of the vulnerable,
- Supervise the establishment and / or the functioning of the reception facilities for vulnerable people working in the country and directly or indirectly dependent on the administrations of the CEPR or Dioceses, and report to the Bishops at their assembly,
- Advocate for the vulnerable according to their categories,
- Promote and collaborate to work with the national and international institutions that evolve in the protection of vulnerable people according to each category,
- Contribute to the celebration of the days dedicated to the different categories of vulnerable people (patients, refugees,).
Members of the Commission