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Peter’s Pence Collection to Help Holy Father Aid Emergency Situations

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Later this month, Catholics in the United States have the opportunity to help Pope Benedict XVI in his assistance to Catholics in all parts of the world including poor dioceses where many people depend on the Church for support, areas where the Church is persecuted and must serve discreetly, and nations that are overwhelmed with refugees or victims of war and natural disasters. 

The Peter’s Pence Collection, which will be taken up the weekend of June 23-24 in most U.S. dioceses, provides assistance for all of these populations. The theme of the collection for 2012 is, “Cast the peace of Christ upon the world.” 

The purpose of the Peter’s Pence Collection is to provide the pope with the financial means to respond with emergency assistance to those who are suffering as a result of war, oppression, natural disaster and disease. This collection was started centuries ago to provide financial support for the Pope and has evolved to fund the Vatican’s charitable actions for those in need.

Pope Benedict XVI addressed the importance of outreach to the poor, oppressed and victims of disasters in his first Encyclical Deus Caritas est:

“The Church can never be exempted from practicing charity as an organized activity of believers and, on the other hand, there will never be a situation where the charity of each individual Christian is unnecessary, because in addition to justice man needs, and will always need, love” (No. 29)