The Vatican announced Feb. 17 that Pope Francis had approved changes to Caritas Internationalis’ governing statutes and internal rules.

The new statutes had been in effect since May 2019 after a decree from the Vatican Secretariat of State approved changes made by the general assembly of Caritas.

Pope Francis approved the amended statutes and internal rules for Caritas Internationalis in a Jan. 13 meeting with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin. The meeting considered “the need to redefine the purpose and order of Caritas Internationalis,” according to the Vatican statement.

The changes include moving the oversight of Caritas Internationalis to the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. The international charity had been a part of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, which was absorbed by the development dicastery in 2017.

Caritas Internationalis did not disclose the changes to its internal rules. According to ACI Stampa, Caritas has encouraged women’s leadership and the presence of young people with a representative council within the organization.

As the umbrella organization for 165 Catholic relief services throughout the world, Caritas Internationalis is the largest Catholic global aid network.

Cardinal Luis Tagle continues to serve as president of Caritas Internationalis in his new post as prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Aloysius John was elected secretary general of Caritas in May.

John said last week that Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Querida Amazonia will serve as a “road map” for Caritas Internationalis to follow.

Querida Amazonia clearly shows that caring for the environment and caring for the poor are ‘inseparable,’” John said in a press release that highlighted the organization’s accompaniment of indigenous communities’ “fight for their rights” in Brazil.