Pope Francis has instituted a new Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, to be led by Cardinal Peter Turkson, currently serving as president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
This new dicastery was instituted in a Motu Proprio published today in the Osservatore Romano.
The dicastery, to come into effect on Jan. 1, 2017, 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 that same date, four Pontifical Councils–the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Pontifical Council Cor Unum, Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, and Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers (for Health Pastoral Care)–will cease to exist and will be effectively encompassed into the new dicastery.
In the Motu Proprio, the Pope underscores, ‘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 addresses concern for refugees and migrants, particularly Francis’ belief that in today’s world integral human development cannot be promoted without special attention for the phenomenon of migration.
Given this, this particular section is placed ad tempus beneath the direct jurisdiction of the Pope.