Pope extends stamp on Church with new ministry for human development
VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis on Wednesday, August 31, announced the creation of a new Vatican ministry for human development in the latest move by the reforming pontiff to put his personal stamp on the Catholic church.
The new Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development is being established by papal decree and will start work on January 1.
Francis is to retain personal oversight of Vatican policy on migration, an issue dear to his heart.
The new ministry is being created by merging 4 existing departments dealing with justice, health, development, and migrants and itinerant people.
The move is part of Francis's drive to streamline the Vatican bureacracy and put efforts to defend and support the most vulnerable at the heart of the Church's mission.
"This Dicastery will be competent particularly 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," Francis said in a decree that creates the new ministry with effect from January 1, 2017.
In a statement the Vatican said ministry policy and activities related to migration would be under the direct authority of the pope.
Francis has regularly spoken out in defense of migrants trying to escape poverty, repression, and conflict in pursuit of better lives in developed countries. (READ: 'There was such suffering': Pope Francis on meeting with migrants)
The new dicastry will be headed by Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson, one of the principal authors of Francis's 2016 encyclical "Laudato Si" ("Praise Be").
The letter to believers has been described as one of the most radical documents ever signed by a pope. In it, Francis warns the planet is headed for disaster if it does not address climate change, worsening social injustice, and rampant consumerism. (READ: Tagle on Pope's encyclical: Review policies, lifestyles) – Rappler.com
We keep you informed because you matter
We tell you the stories that matter. We ask, we probe, we explain.
But as we strive to do all this and speak truth to power, we face constant threats to our independence.
Help us make a difference through free and fearless journalism. With your help, you enable us to keep providing you with our brand of compelling and investigative work.
Joining Rappler PLUS allows us to build communities of action with you. PLUS members will receive our editorial newsletters and industry reports, get to join exclusive online conversations with our award-winning journalists, and be part of our monthly events.
Make your move now. Join Rappler PLUS.