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Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Highest-Ranking African Cardinal

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Peter Turkson, the highest-ranking African person at the Vatican.

Cardinal Turkson, from Ghana, headed the Vatican office that handled migration issues, the environment and COVID-19 response.

The 73-year old Ghanaian was replaced by deputy Michael Czerny, a Czech-born Canadian and Sister Alessandra Smerilli, an Italian economist who has spearheaded the Vatican’s COVID-19 response.

The announcement follows the results of an internal investigation conducted earlier.

The latest leadership change was announced on the day Francis delivered his usual Christmas message to members of the Vatican bureaucracy, demanding they show more humility and less pride in the coming year.

Featured Image Credit: Pope Francis meets Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, during his general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Jan. 15, 2020. (Credit: CNS photo/Paul Haring.)


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