International Catholic Committee for Gypsies
CCIT (Comité Catholique International pour les Tsiganes)
CCIT was created following a number of informal meetings organised in Paris, France, at the beginning of the 1970s by the French priest Youschka Bartolémy and a Belgian couple, Elisa and Léon Tambour, in response to the need for an international debate on the gypsy communities and their human and spiritual welfare. From the outset, the Committee has worked in conjunction with the Church and has special relations with the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (two members of the management Group are "structurally" responsible for relations with this department of the Roman Curia). CCIT remains in constant contact with the national chaplaincies for Gypsies and Travellers.
The members of CCIT are people working for the human and spiritual advancement of Gypsies, endeavouring to prompt them to act in the spirit of Christ, so that Gypsies and non-Gypsies are able to live the Gospel together in all its dimensions; it sets out to alert the churches and the Christian communities to the condition of the Gypsies, so that they can be recognised, accepted and loved; it seeks practical cooperation with the members of other churches who are willing to open up to Gypsies; it is involved in carrying out a survey in every country in order to set up an international network that will encourage the churches to take account of the Gypsies’ world. In its work priority is given to organising annual international meetings in a different country each time, providing an opportunity for all those working in this sphere to reflect together on specific issues; it is a forum for comparing different experiences, and for establishing new bonds of friendship and cooperation.
CCIT is a de facto association. To become members it is necessary to adhere to its Charter and to have attended at least three of its international meetings. Every four years an Animation Council of eight members is elected, and they in turn elect a Management Group comprising the President, the Vice-President, two officials responsible for relations with the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, and an official responsible for publications. Every year, the Animation Council lays down the guidelines for the work of the CCIT, which is implemented, together with the ordinary management of the Committee, by the Management Group assisted by the Secretariat.
CCIT has 46 members in 14 European countries. The annual international meetings normally attract about a hundred people from 20 European countries.
Nevy Yag (New Fire), a six monthly bulletin published in French and German.
Comité Catholique International pour les Tsiganes
c/o Elisa et Léon Tambour
Pallieterstraat 9 - 2170 Merksem - Belgium
Tel. and Fax [+32]3.6452579