Cardinal Appiah Turkson reportedly resigns

Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson was appointed cardinal in 2003
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Vatican-based Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson has written to Pope Francis not to continue to serve as Prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, multiple sources say.

The Ghanaian was appointed the first head of the Dicastery by Pope Francis in 2016.

Before then, he was the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

According to US-based Catholicnews.com, the Pope is yet to comment on the reported resignation of the only African heading a major Vatican office.

Pope Francis’s merging of the pontifical councils of Justice and Peace, Cor Unum, Migrants and Travelers, and Health Care Ministry is said to have created management challenges.

In June, Pope Francis asked Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago to conduct a visitation of the dicastery “in the context of a normal examination of the activity of the dicasteries, aimed at obtaining an updated understanding on the conditions in which they operate”.

A couple of months later, the head of the Roman Catholic Church named Salesian Sister Alessandra Smerilli as interim secretary of the human development dicastery, after the resignation of Monsignr Bruno-Marie Duffé, who served as secretary for four years.

Argentine Father Augusto Zampini, who was adjunct secretary of the office and coordinator of the Vatican’s Covid-19 Commission, also left.

Sister Smerilli later joined the management team of the Vatican’s Covid-19 Commission along with Cardinal Turkson and Scalabrinian Father Fabio Baggio, undersecretary of the dicastery’s Migrants and Refugees Section.

It is unclear what reason is behind the Ghanaian’s decision, if confirmed likely Thursday, December 23 at the traditional meeting for Christmas greetings with the Curia..

But sources say it may be because of the managerial challenges.

Cardinal Appiah Turkson, born on October 11, 1948 in Wassaw Nsuta, was made a cardinal by the late Pope John Paul II in 2003.

He was then Archbishop of Cape Coast.

He has two more years to proceed on mandatory retirement.

Despite the resignation, he is still regarded as the only African papabile, that is, a candidate for election to the papacy.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana