Caritas Internationalis elects Archbishop Kikuchi as new president

  • Sunday, 07:27 Date 14/05/2023
  • Archbishop Tarcisius Isao Kikuchi, SVD, the Archbishop of Tokyo, in Japan, was elected on Saturday evening as the 13th President of Caritas Internationalis.

    He will serve a four-year term at the head of the confederation of 162 Catholic relief, development and social service organizations. Caritas operates in over 200 countries and territories around the world, and seeks to build a better world, especially for the poor and oppressed.

    Archbishop Kikuchi also serves as president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan and Secretary General of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC).

    Brief biography

    In a statement released on Saturday evening, Caritas Internationalis congratulated Archbishop Kikuchi on his election.

    He has worked with the Caritas confederation in various positions and titles since 1995, when he began as a volunteer in a refugees camp in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (then known as Zaire).

    He served as the Executive Director of Caritas Japan from 1999 to 2004 and the president of Caritas Japan from 2007 to 2022. He was also the president of Caritas Asia from 2011 to 2019, a member of the Caritas Internationalis Executive Committee from 1999 to 2004, and a member of the Representative Council from 2011 to 2019.

    In his address to Caritas members on Friday, Archbishop Kikuchi said, "Caritas must be in the front line to receive, accompany, serve and defend the poor and vulnerable. This mission must be upheld and capture all attentions of the Members of the Confederation, and I would like to be the one to lead entire organization to fulfill this important mission of the Church together with the Secretary General. All are invited to walk together."

    Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi was born in Iwate on 1 November 1958. He professed his vows in the Divine Word Missionaries in March 1985 prior to his ordination to the priesthood on 15 March 1986.

    As a newly ordained young priest, he served as a missionary to Ghana, where he was a parish priest in a rural parish for 8 years.

    He has served as Archbishop of Tokyo since his appointment in 2017, prior to which he had served as the Bishop of Niigata since 2004.

    By Devin Watkins

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