09/01/2016, 09.40
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A new department for the service of integral human development

Fourth stage of the reform of the Curia by Pope Francis. As of January 1, the new dicastery will absorb the Pontifical Councils for Justice and Peace, Cor Unum, Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, for Pastoral Healthcare Professionals. The section of migrants and itinerant is "ad tempus" under the direct leadership of the Pontiff. The Prefect will be Card. Turkson.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – In his latest step in reforming the Curia, Pope Francis has instituted a new department "for the service of integral human development". The announcement was made yesterday in a note issued by the Holy See Press Office and the Osservatore Romano which published the papal decision (Motu Proprio).

The new dicastery will absorb the different Pontifical Councils dealing with development issues: Justice and Peace, Cor Unum, Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, for Pastoral Healthcare Professionals. All of these offices "will cease activities and will be suppressed" as of January 1, 2017.

The Motu proprio says that this "development takes place by attending to the inestimable goods of justice, peace, and the care of creation". It will be competent above all "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".

The unification of the various Council is the result of the pontiff's stress on the need to make these organizations capable of “better meeting the needs of men and women that they are called to serve."

A section of the new department that is of special concern to the Pope is that for refugees and migrants. Migration has become a global factor, which influences the future of co-existence on the planet. The Pope wants this section under his direct leadership "ad tempus" (for now).

The Prefect of the new dicastery will be Card. Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

With the new Dicastery announced yesterday, Pope Francis' Curia reform has reached its fourth stage, after the establishment of the Secretariat's for the economy and for communication and after the unification of the Councils for the Laity and Family.

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