Vatican: Cardinal Turkson Resigns

March 14, 2022
Cardinal Peter Turkson

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson from his post as Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, the Holy See announced on December 23, 2021.

“Pending the appointment of a new leadership,” the sovereign pontiff has appointed interim prefect Canadian Cardinal Michael Czerny, who until then was in charge of the Migrants and Refugees Section within the same dicastery, from January 1, 2022.

73-year-old Cardinal Turkson's resignation, the Holy See's statement explains, comes “at the expiration of the first five years of activity with the statutes ad experimentum.”

The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development was created in August 2016, and has been operating since January 2017 as “the result of the merger of four pre-existing Pontifical Councils.”

Following the results of the evaluation visit carried out last summer, the text continues, the superiors of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development had placed their responsibility in the hands of the pontiff.

Sources consulted by the I.Media agency reported strong tensions and administrative problems within the dicastery. Merging the Justice and Peace, Cor Unum, pastoral care of migrants and displaced persons, and health services into a single structure would have encountered many management problems.

Cardinal Czerny, the Pope's right arm with migrants and refugees, is assisted ad interim by Sister Alessandra Smerilli, the first woman appointed secretary of the Dicastery on August 26, 2021.