by Peter Stanford CAFOD is "a great conspiracy of love that has succeeded in overcoming our insularity and complacency and opening our hearts to the needs of the poor, and disadvantaged and the oppressed", Cardinal Hume told a crowded Westminster Cathedral on Monday evening at a Mass to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of the development agency, and launch a year of events.
"CAFOD is the Church of England and Wales accepting and carrying out its duty to be involved in overseas development. CAFOD is an instrument to serve the poor of the Third World. CAFOD is one of the glories of our Church", the cardinal said in his homily.
The mass in the cathedral was one of a chain taking place in every diocese up and down the country, and in capitals throughout the Third World. Bells rang out through the good services of the campinologists of the Guild of St Agatha, and in Liverpool and Westminster a jubilee horns were blown calling the people of God together in prayer and commitment to the future.
Cardinal Paolo Evariste Arns, the Archbishop of Sao Paolo Brazil, was present in Westminster Cathedral, along
with present and past supporters, partners and staff members at CAFOD, Christopher Patten, the Minister for Overseas Development, and. Robin Hood, a former director
of CAFOD who read the lesson.
Recalling his own trip to Ethiopia and taking a lead from Matthew (Chapter 25) Cardinal Hume asserted that "yes, we are to be concerned for the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, the prisoner all of these, indeed, whom we know as the poor and the oppressed". But he went on : "No, it is not enough to be appalled, it is insufficient just to be concerned, we are to act as well".
For Cardinal Hume, CAFOD was "a star that guides us to where Christ is most in need".
At the offertory, gifts were carried to the altar to symbolise CAFOD's work — a laurel branch for peace, a candle for justice, red carnations for the lives of those who suffer, a CAFOD collecting box for Family Fast Days, bread for fighting hunger and poverty, and wine for the joy of salvation.