The head of Caritas Austria has been President of Caritas Europa since Tuesday. It has 49 member organizations, is present in 46 European countries and one of seven regions of Caritas Internationalis.
Cohesion, solidarity and charity are not only the core of Europe, but are also at the forefront of Caritas, said Landau after his election. He described the fight against the pandemic, the fight against poverty and global hunger and against the climate crisis as the biggest task for the aid organization. Internationally active Caritas must now “do everything possible to ensure that today’s health crisis does not become tomorrow’s social crisis”.
Landau – he will be 60 tomorrow – was born in Vienna. His Jewish father had fled to Shanghai in 1939, returned to Austria in 1947 and worked as a merchant. Landau’s mother was a Catholic and worked in the National Bank. “We had an open and respectful climate,” Landau told the ON when he became President of Caritas Austria in 2013. Landau showed success with his youth. The preferred student won the Austrian Chemistry Olympiad twice and was a breast swimmer. He graduated in biochemistry with a doctorate and distinction.
He had already attended religious instruction at school – Landau was only baptized when he was 20. At the Mittelschler cartel association, he met Helmut Schller, who became a personal friend. The prospective priest completed part of the theological studies in Rome. “There I got to know a piece of this colorfulness and diversity of the church.” Ordained priest in 1992, three years later Archbishop Christoph Schnborn appointed him Caritas director in Vienna – to succeed Schller.
Foreign Policy Editor, Weltspiegel
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