MURCIA, Spain, FEB. 28, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Archbishop Paul Cordes says the primary objective of Catholic charities is to show the love of God.

The president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, which helps the Pope to promote and coordinate the Church's charitable work, said this on Tuesday when opening an international conference at the Catholic University of St. Anthony in Murcia.

"Catholic charitable associations must work to reduce poverty, but their primary objective is to show the love of God in the world," Archbishop Cordes said.

The 72-year-old prelate exhorted ecclesial groups "to firmly maintain their roots and objectives so as not to lose their ecclesial nature, giving priority to evangelization in the charitable activities in which they engage."

His conference was entitled "Socio-Charitable Activity in the Encyclical 'Deus Caritas Est.'"

The prelate said that "Christian associations as well as believers must not seek supports in the field of socio-charitable action that are not in accord with the Gospel."

"Church and state need each other in the quest for man's good; hence, the need for cooperation between both institutions is inevitable," Archbishop Cordes added.

The prelate praised the work of civil associations, particularly those nongovernmental organizations that "engage in charitable activity philanthropically."
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