The Pontifical Council Cor Unum for Human and Christian Development was established on July 15 1971 by Pope Paul VI with his Letter of Institution Amoris officio and expresses "the care of the Catholic Church for the needy, thereby encouraging human fellowship and making manifest the charity of Christ" (Apostolic Constitution Pastor bonus, art. 145). It promotes and encourages the theological reflection among Pastors in order to strengthen the Christian roots of Charity; the Encyclical Letter Deus caritas est by Pope Benedict XVI has a special place in this area.
In the Motu Proprio Intima Ecclesiae Natura (2012) the Holy Father explaines, from a canonical point of view, the theological-pastoral reflection on the exercise of charity in the Church. This document formalizes in a new way the normative framework within which the charitable activity of the Church unfolds and clarifies not only the responsibility of Bishops, but also the commitment of every baptized person in the exercise of charity. For the love of neighbor, grounded in the love of God, is first and foremost a responsibility for each individual member of the faithful, but it is also a task of the entire ecclesial community at all levels, from the local community to the diocesan one, from the particular Church to the universal Church as a whole.