Communiqué from the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development

Responses of Card. M. Czerny S.J. and Sr. Alessandra Smerilli F.M.A

following the appointments made by the Holy Father on 23 December 2021

In a communiqué published in the Official Bulletin, the Holy See Press Office announced today that "at the end of the first five years of activity with ad experimentum statutes and following the results of the evaluation visit carried out last summer, the superiors of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development have handed over their mandate to the Supreme Pontiff". It also sincerely thanked Card. Peter K. Appiah Turkson and his collaborators for the service they gave, and while awaiting the appointment of a new executive, announced that as of 1 January 2022 the Holy Father has decided to entrust the ongoing direction of the Dicastery ad interim to Card. Michael Czerny SJ as Prefect and Sister Alessandra Smerilli FMA as Secretary


The following are statements by Card. Michael Czerny SJ and Sister Alessandra Smerilli FMA:


"I thank the Holy Father for the esteem and trust that he has placed in me by temporarily entrusting me with the ongoing direction of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. Further, I greatly appreciate his confirming Sister Alessandra Smerilli F.M.A. as Secretary; her experience and sensibility will be crucial to the management of the Dicastery. 

The challenges facing the Church are numerous and pressing as we live in a world that at times seems to be tempted to privilege the globalisation of indifference over that of solidarity, and that threatens our common home and the value of the universality of the human family. With all my trust in God our Creator and Father, and in His love that saves and builds, I accept the office entrusted to me by the Holy Father for the time he will deem appropriate. 

I wish to recognize and thank Card. Peter Turkson for his inspiring witness of faith and hope in his five years of guiding the Dicastery, and for the work he did with the entire Dicastery team to promote the integral development of the whole person and of every person. Moreover I hope the experience I have gained from the Migrants & Refugees Section of the Dicastery will provide a fruitful approach to the aforementioned challenges". 

Card. Michael Czerny S.J.


"I am grateful to the Holy Father for confirming me in this challenging interim assignment. With the support of prayer, I hope to honour this call in a spirit of obedience to the Church for as long as the Pope sees fit.

I know that I will be able -- and we will be able – to work in a spirit of communion throughout the entire Dicastery, as well as with our many international partners to promote the integral development of the person and the care of creation, according to the principles of the Church’s social doctrine.

Today, I would like to offer special thanks to Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson and all the other Superiors with whom we have journeyed during these past months. They had the difficult task of launching the new Dicastery and amalgamating not only the structures but also the histories of the previous four Pontifical Councils (Justice and Peace, Cor Unum, Migrants and Itinerant People, Health Workers). Now we continue the journey in the spirit of renewal to which the Holy Father is calling us".

Sister Alessandra Smerilli FMA


* Cf. Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office.


23 December 2021