BACKGROUND (HISTORY) OF THE ETHIOPIAN CATHOLIC SECRETARIAT (ECS)
Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat (ECS) in its present form was established in 1965 and got its first organizational structure in 1971. The first Constitution of ECS was approved in January 1973. In accordance with that constitution, the Administrative Board of ECS was established. The Archbishop of Addis Ababa is the de facto Chairman of the administrative board of ECS and is recognized by the Ethiopian Government as the head of the Catholic Church in Ethiopia. Between 1974 and 1985 ECS's main focus was gathering and distributing food and medicines in the form of emergency relief. The current Constitution of ECS was endorsed on April 1st, 1999.
According to this constitution, the ECS is structured with two wings:
Pastoral Activities Commission (PAC) and
the Social and Development Commission (SADCO).
The latter is overall signatory with federal offices relevant to areas of Ethiopian Catholic Church (ECC) Social and Development activities including humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia on behalf of Diocesan Catholic Secretariats and health institutions in the country. It was based on the request by the Ethiopian Government, that the Ethiopian Catholic Church Bishops' Conference approved the setting-up, within the Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat (ECS) of a "Social and Development Commission (ECCSADCO)" to coordinate and manage the Social and Development Activities of the Ethiopian Catholic Church; taking into account the Laws of the Church.
The new structure has been created in order to make the objectives of the Ethiopian Catholic Church (ECC) operations clear and well understood by both the internal and external concerned persons thereby indicating the role and extension of the Church's interventions in Ethiopia. The main concern of our interventions is the core objective of 'Integral human development approach.' The central theme of this structure is to create an enabling working environment, wherein each party clearly understands its specific role, duties and responsibilities thereby increasing team spirit towards increasing collective achievement of our church.
The Ethiopian Catholic Church (ECC), is the presence of the Universal Church in this country, and acts through Evangelization and promotion of integral human development. As a means to implement the Vision and Mission of the Ethiopian Catholic Church, the Ethiopian Catholic Bishops' Conference has established the Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat (ECS) with the mandate to initiate, facilitate, promote and coordinate the Social and pastoral activities of the Catholic Church through out the country by:
§ Executing the directives of the Ethiopian Catholic Bishop's Conference
§ Fostering a network of relationships and mutual Co-operations with the Diocesan Catholic Secretariats
§ Providing leadership in formulating Church policies and guidelines in Social and Pastoral activities, to be submitted to the Ethiopian Catholic Bishop's Conference for approval
§ Promoting self-reliance of the Church through capacity building
§ Fostering ecumenical rapprochement and cooperation with other Christian churches and dialogue with other religions
§ Building up the church as God's Family and avoiding all ethnocentrism
§ Promoting justice and peace, reconciliation and solidarity among peoples
§ Represents and advocates for Ethiopian Catholic Church in Socio-Pastoral matters at national and international fora
§ Liaise with Government Ministries and Bureaus at Federal level and, if requested, at regional level
§ Linking the church with:
q Local Faith-based organizations and NGOs
q Regional ecclesiastical associations
q International funding agencies
§ To assist the expatriate Church personnel obtain work and residence permits, in accordance with laws and regulations of the country; and the national Ethiopian Church personnel obtain the necessary documents for their travel abroad.
The Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat (ECS) is a non-profit making organization of the Ethiopian Catholic Church.
The objectives of the ECS are as follows:
§ To execute the mandates given to it by the Ethiopian Catholic Bishops' Conference in the fields of Church activities (Social work, Human development, welfare and relief), and to respond quickly to the national call for aid in the case of disasters and in emergency situations
§ To assist Diocesan Catholic Secretariats and work in close collaboration with them in net-working social and pastoral and development programs at both National and Diocesan levels
§ To provide assistance in formulating church policies and guidelines
§ To submit recommendations and proposals to the Governing Board
§ Coordinate the activities of Diocesan Catholic Secretariats and assist and work in close collaboration with them in net - working the Socio-pastoral and development programs at National level Facilitate for Diocesan Catholic Secretariats (DCSs) for smooth operation of their programs
§ To promote an overall evaluation and study of the Catholic Church organizations, in close collaboration with Diocesan Secretariats
§ To promote contacts and collaboration with Church-based and humanitarian organizations and individuals within the country and abroad, in order to enable the Ethiopian Catholic Church to fulfill her national and international obligations.
§ To help expatriate Church personnel obtain work and residence permits, in accordance with laws and regulations of the country
§ To help national Ethiopian Church personnel obtain the necessary documents for their travel abroad
§ To provide the Bishops' Conference, Diocesan Catholic Secretariats and other Church personnel with information concerning Church documents and Government proclamations, rules and regulations relevant to their socio-pastoral activities.
§ To help the Church institutions operating in Ethiopia in clearing goods from customs
§ To assist Diocesan Catholic Secretariats to address legal matters
§ To promote self-reliance of the church through Capacity building to ensure the achievement of their objectives