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Pope creates new curial dicastery, names Cardinal Turkson prefect

August 31, 2016

Pope Francis has instituted the dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and has named Cardinal Peter Turkson, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, as its first prefect.

In an unprecedented development, however, the Pope announced that he would personally oversee work involving migrants and refugees. Because "there cannot be a service to integral human development without special attention to migration," the Vatican explained in an August 31 statement introducing the new dicastery, the work with migrants will take place "directly under the guidance of the Holy Father."

In Humanam Progressionem, the apostolic letter instituting the dicastery, the Pope said that the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, and the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers will cease to exist as of January 1. The new office will combine their functions.

The new curial dicastery, the Pope stated, will attend to “the inestimable goods of justice, peace, and the care of creation,” as well as “health and charitable works” and issues associated with “migrants, those in need, the sick, the excluded and marginalized, the imprisoned and the unemployed, as well as victims of armed conflict, natural disasters, and all forms of slavery and torture.”

The creation of the new dicastery comes two weeks after Pope Francis appointed Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas as prefect of the Vatican’s new dicastery for Laity, the Family, and Life. As with that office, Pope Francis chose to set up the office as a "dicastery" without specifying whether it would have the status of a Vatican congregation. Also, he approved the statutes for the new office "ad experimentum," allowing for modifications at a later date.

The dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, like the dicastery for Laity, the Family, and Life, had been proposed by the Council of Cardinals as a step toward streamlining the work of the Roman Curia, combining the roles of several existing offices into a single coordinated body.


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  • Posted by: filioque - Aug. 31, 2016 6:11 PM ET USA

    Those of us who never contribute to the USCCB's Campaign for Human Development now have another agency to blackball. This is the strategy of institutionalizing policy. Will it go so far as simply abolishing CDF and CDW, or will they just continue being ignored, if not swiped at?