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Pope Francis names Cardinal Czerny head of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development

Pope Francis names Cardinal Czerny head of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development

Cardinal Michael Czerny, SJ. SCREENSHOT/VATICAN NEWS

By Courtney Mares

Catholic News Agency

April 23, 2022

VATICAN— Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Michael Czerny, SJ, as the new prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development on Saturday.

Czerny, 75, succeeds Cardinal Peter Turkson, who led the social development dicastery from 2016 to 2021.

Pope Francis on April 23 also named a new secretary for the dicastery, Sister Alessandra Smerilli, and appointed Fr. Fabio Baggio as the undersecretary of the dicastery with responsibility for its Migrants and Refugees Section.

Both Czerny and Smerilli have recently served as the “ad interim” leaders for the positions they were officially appointed to within the dicastery since the beginning of this year.

Czerny was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia in 1946 and immigrated with his family to Canada at the age of two. He has served as Under-secretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the dicastery since 2017. The Jesuit priest received the cardinal’s red hat in October 2019.

Pope Francis named Smerilli, an Italian economist and member of the Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco, as the dicastery’s interim secretary in August.

Baggio, an Italian missionary priest of the Scalabrian Order, was appointed an under-secretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section alongside Czerny in Dec. 2016.

Pope Francis’ new appointments for the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development came on the same day that the pope named two new secretaries for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

The pope has selected Italian Monsignor Armando Matteo to lead the CDF’s Doctrinal Section and Monsignor John Joseph Kennedy from Dublin to lead its Disciplinary Section.

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