Archbishop Tarcisius Isao Kikuchi of Tokyo has been elected president of Caritas Internationalis, the charitable organization of the Catholic Church, on Saturday, May 13.
“I was surprised to be elected,” Archbishop Kikuchi was quoted by AsiaNews.
“I intended to leave this morning, after someone became president. So it was quite difficult to understand what was happening last night,” he said.
The Japanese prelate will be serving a four-year term as head of the confederation of 162 Catholic relief, development and social service organizations that operates in over 200 countries and territories.
“Caritas must be in the front line to receive, accompany, serve and defend the poor and vulnerable,” he said in an address to Caritas members.
“This mission must be upheld and capture all attentions of the members of the confederation,” he added.
Archbishop Kikuchi currently serves as president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan and secretary general of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences.