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Pope shakes up workplace that handles migration, COVID

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis on Thursday eliminated the top of the Vatican workplace that handles migration, the atmosphere and COVID-19 points, and put a trusted cardinal and one of many Holy See’s most influential nuns on the helm briefly.

Francis thanked Cardinal Peter Turkson for his 5 years of service however selected new management following the outcomes of an inside investigation, the Vatican stated.

Turkson, who till Thursday was the highest-ranking African particular person on the Holy See, instructed reporters earlier this week that he had submitted his resignation to Francis and that it was as much as the pope to determine what to do with it.

Francis created the Dicastery for Integral Human Growth in 2016 by merging 4 current Vatican workplaces that dealt with migration points, the Vatican’s charity work and its justice and peace initiatives. Turkson, a 73-year-old Ghanaian, was put in cost.

The workplace handles the dossiers closest to Francis’ coronary heart. It was chargeable for among the early drafts of his 2015 encyclical on the atmosphere, was instrumental within the runup to his synod on the Amazon rainforest, and most just lately has housed the pope’s COVID-19 Fee, which goals to serve native church buildings in responding to the pandemic.

However in an indication Francis had different plans down the road, he determined in 2019 to make a cardinal out of certainly one of Turkson’s deputies, Michael Czerny. It was a transparent break from Vatican protocol that sees just one cardinal per Vatican workplace. Czerny, a Czech-born Canadian and a Jesuit just like the pope, had been in command of the workplace’s migration part and now takes over the entire operation as prefect, advert interim.

Working as his deputy will probably be Sister Alessandra Smerilli, an Italian economist who has spearheaded the Vatican’s COVID-19 response and is now one of many highest-profile ladies within the Vatican paperwork.

Earlier this yr, Francis requested Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich, a detailed ally, to conduct an inside investigation, generally known as a visitation, into the operations of the Human Growth workplace. The outcomes haven’t been launched, and Francis has launched comparable investigations of different Vatican workplaces that preceded shakeups.

Quickly after Cupich’s report was delivered, Turkson’s two secretaries abruptly left workplace, one after he reached retirement age and the opposite to return to his residence diocese in Argentina. No clarification was given.

The newest management change was introduced on the day Francis delivered his typical tough-love Christmas greeting to members of the Vatican paperwork, demanding they present extra humility and fewer delight within the coming yr.

Francis made no point out in his speech about his plans for reforming the paperwork itself, of which the Dicastry for Integral Human Growth is a key half.

Francis had been anticipated to launch a reform blueprint this fall, however the doc was not revealed. Presumably he determined to not identify a everlasting new head of Turkson’s workplace pending the official launch of the doc.

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