|Established||17 August 2016|
|Merger of||Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Pontifical Council Cor Unum, Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care|
|Bruno M. Duffé|
|Nicola Riccardi, Segundo Tejado Muñoz, Michael Czerny, Fabio Baggio|
The Vatican announced the creation of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (Dicasterium ad integram humanam progressionem fovendam in Latin) on 31 August 2016 and it became effective 1 January 2017. Cardinal Peter K. A. Turkson was named its first prefect. The Prefect is to be assisted by a Secretary and at least one Undersecretary.
This dicastery of the Roman Curia combined the work of four Pontifical Councils established following the Second Vatican Council: Justice and Peace, Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, and Cor Unum.Pope Francis has given it responsibility for "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".
On 16 June 2017 the Pope named Bruno Marie Duffé, a French professor with long experience in human rights and relief work, the dicastery's Secretary. Fr. Nicola Riccardi and Msgr. Segundo Tejado Muñoz were named undersecretaries, on 8 July 2017.
The Pope announced that "temporarily" he would personally direct the special Section for Migrants and Refugees as a part of the Dicastery. He named the Canadian Jesuit Fr. Michael Czerny (later cardinal) and the Italian Scalabrinian Fr. Fabio Baggio to serve as undersecretaries for issues related to refugees and migrants.
From the Statutes of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development:
The Dicastery promotes integral human development in the light of the Gospel and in the tradition of the Church's social teachings. To this end, it maintains relations with the Conferences of Bishops, offering them its cooperation so that values related to justice and peace as well as the care of creation may be promoted.
The Dicastery also expresses the Holy Father's care for suffering humanity, including the needy, the sick and the excluded, and pays special attention to the needs and issues of those who are forced to flee their homeland, the stateless, the marginalized, victims of armed conflicts and natural disasters, the imprisoned, the unemployed, victims of contemporary forms of slavery and torture, and others whose dignity is endangered. It studies the social teaching of the Church and works to make it widely known and implemented, and so that social, economic and political relations are increasingly imbued with the spirit of the Gospel. It also collects information and research in the areas of justice and peace, the development of peoples, the promotion and defence of human dignity and human rights, such as rights pertaining to work, including that of minors; the phenomenon of migration and the exploitation of migrants; human trafficking and enslavement; imprisonment, torture and capital punishment; disarmament and arms control as well as armed conflicts and their effects on the civilian population and the natural environment (humanitarian law). It evaluates these data and informs the episcopal agencies of the conclusions drawn, so that they may intervene directly where appropriate.
The Dicastery strives to ensure that local Churches provide effective and appropriate assistance both material and spiritual - if necessary also by means of suitable pastoral structures - to the sick, refugees, exiles, migrants, the stateless, circus workers, nomads and other itinerant populations. To do so, it encourages and coordinates initiatives of Catholic institutions committed to respecting the dignity of every person and affirming the values of justice and peace, and to helping people in need, especially those institutions that help respond to the most pressing needs including disaster relief.
In fulfilling its mission, it may establish relationships with associations, institutes and non-governmental organizations, including those outside the Catholic Church, who are committed to promoting justice and peace. It may also enter into discussion with representatives of civil governments and other international public institutions, in order to promote study, deepen knowledge, and public awareness regarding matters within its competence, while respecting the competencies of other offices of the Roman Curia.
The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development is committed to fostering among peoples: sensitivity for peace, commitment to justice and solidarity with those who are most vulnerable such as migrants and refugees, particularly through the celebrations of the World Day of Peace, the World Day of Migrants, the World Day of the Sick. Its activities include also the presentation of the annual Lenten Message of the Pope.