Pope Francis has created a new Dicastery to better minister to the needs of the men and women the Church is called to serve.
The new “Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development” was instituted in a Motu Proprio published earlier this month in the Osservatore Romano.
The dicastery will come into effect as from 1 January 2017 and will be especially “competent in issues regarding 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”.
On 1st January 2017, four Pontifical Councils dedicated to charity and to the promotion of human development will cease to exist and effectively be incorporated into the new institution.
The Pope has appointed Cardinal Peter Turkson as Prefect of the new dicastery. Turkson is the current President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace – one of those destined to be disbanded.
As Pope Francis highlights in the Motu Proprio: ‘the Church is called to promote the integral development of the human person in the light of the Gospel’, thus the Successor of Peter must ‘continuously adapt the institutions which collaborate with him.’
One of the sections of the new dicastery is an expression of the Pope’s particular concern for refugees and migrants and of his deep belief that in today’s world integral human development cannot be promoted without special attention for the phenomenon of migration. For this reason, this particular section is placed ad tempus beneath the direct jurisdiction of the Pope.