Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego to the board of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. The news is reported in the new Vatican yearbook (Annuario Pontificio 2021) that has just been published.
His appointment comes as no surprise since Pope Francis invited him to participate in the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian Region in October 2019. He was one of only three bishops from the United States who participated in that synod; the other two were Cardinals Sean O’Malley of Boston, a member of the pope’s council of cardinal advisors, and Kevin Farrell, prefect head of the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life.
The dicastery is headed by the Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson. Its members come from all continents to represent the universality of the church and include eight cardinals, 11 bishops, three clerics and 18 laypeople, including three women religious.
This Vatican dicastery was established in January 2017, emerging from curial reform initiated by Pope Francis. It is now one of the largest departments in the Roman Curia.
Integral Human Development has a broad mandate related to the Holy See’s concern for issues of justice and peace, including migration, health care, charitable works and the care of creation.
As its statutes explain, the dicastery seeks “to promote 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.”
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Gerard O’Connell is America’s Vatican correspondent.
With thanks to America Magazine and Gerard O’Connell, where this article originally appeared.