Vatican seeks to assure Caritas that papal firings were necessary, not a criticism of work

ROME (AP) — A top Vatican cardinal is defending Pope Francis’ “drastic” leadership firings at the Holy See’s preeminent charity. Cardinal Michael Czerny said Friday they were necessary for the wellbeing of staff at Caritas Internationalis and not a condemnation of its work. Czerny sought to explain Francis’ extraordinary decision in November to fire the elected Caritas leadership, appoint temporary commissioners and overhaul the Caritas statutes. Czerny was addressing a weeklong meeting in Rome of the global confederation of 162 national Caritas national chapters. It’s the first since Francis’ intervention and will culminate with a new leadership team voted into office.