Our Relationship With the Vatican, Dioceses and Clergy

Cross Catholic Outreach’s CEO, Jim Cavnar, meets the Holy Father, Pope Francis.
Cross Catholic Outreach’s CEO, Jim Cavnar, meets the Holy Father, Pope Francis.

Cross Catholic Outreach is blessed to have strong relationships throughout the universal Catholic Church — with parishes, seminaries, dioceses, Episcopal conferences and the Vatican.

Our collaboration with the Holy See began nearly 20 years ago when we started supporting the charitable concerns of the Holy Father through Pontifical Council Cor Unum. After more than a decade of working together, our relationship culminated in a Pontifical Decree granting Cross Catholic Outreach official status as part of the universal Catholic Church.

Our continued partnership led to the Vatican’s “stamp of approval” on Cross Catholic Outreach. With this decree, the mission of Cross Catholic Outreach’s ministry is aligned with the mission of the Church — to love our neighbor, help the poor and proclaim the Gospel.

Monsignor Ted Bertagni, Director of Clergy and Diocesan Relations for Cross Catholic Outreach, has led our Vatican diplomacy for more than two decades. Pope Francis personally commissioned him as a Missionary of Mercy in 2016. Through his efforts, our ministry enjoys relationships with bishops, archbishops and cardinals, many of whom have written letters of endorsement supporting Cross Catholic Outreach.

With an eye on the future, we also take the cry of the poor into Catholic seminaries in the United States to share with young men in formation of the work of Cross Catholic Outreach and its alignment with Catholic social teaching. Putting faith into action, we offer seminarians the chance to travel to the front lines of poverty to experience working with those in abject poverty. These trips allow seminarians the opportunity to love and serve the poor. It’s a transformative experience that stays with them into their priesthood.

Today, Cross Catholic Outreach’s relationship with the universal Church begins at the Dicastery for the Service of Charity. With its recent elevation by Pope Francis, Cross Catholic Outreach and the Dicastery for the Service of Charity are embarking on a collaboration in the fight against global poverty and the challenge of the Holy Father to always remember the poor.