About the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development
About the Dicastery
The Laudato Si’ Action Platform is an initiative of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, which was established Motu Proprio by Pope Francis in 2016.
Among other initiatives, this Dicastery–in dialogue with the members of the Church, international organizations and civil society, confronting believers and non-believers–proposes activities, projects and initiatives of study and reflection dedicated to a greater elucidation of Laudato Sì; to the environment and to ecology, helping to spread a culture of respect for the planet and the human being; to the right to land; to the development of agriculture; to the correct management of energy, water and subsoil sources; to mining and extraction activities; to the rights of indigenous peoples.
“In all her being and actions, the Church is called to promote the integral development of the human person in the light of the Gospel.”
Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis
Cardinal Michael Czerny, S.J. entered the Society of Jesus in English Canada in 1963, and was ordained in 1973. He did graduate studies at the University of Chicago in an inter-disciplinary programme in humanities, social thought and theology and earned the doctorate in 1978.
He was the founding director of the Jesuit Centre for Social Faith and Justice, Toronto (1979 – 1989). After the 1989 assassination of the Jesuits at the Central American University (UCA) in San Salvador, he became Director of its Human Rights Institute (1990 – 1991) and Vice-Rector of the UCA (1991).
For 11 years he served as Secretary for Social Justice at the Jesuit General Curia, Rome (1992 – 2002).
In 2002, he founded the African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN), which assists Jesuits to respond to the HIV/AIDS pandemic; he directed AJAN for 8 years.
From 2010-2016, Fr. Czerny worked with Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, as his advisor or counsellor.
From the beginning of 2017 he was one of the two Under-Secretaries of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
On October 4, 2019, Fr. Czerny was consecrated titular archbishop of Benevento by Pope Francis, who on October 5 created him cardinal deacon of St. Michael the Archangel.
Card. Czerny was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples on 21 February 2020 and of the Council for Inter-religious Dialogue on 8 July 2020.
On 23 December 2021, the Holy Father appointed him as interim Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development as of 1 January 2022.
On 23 April 202s, the Holy Father appointed him as Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human
Sr Alessandra Smerilli, F.M.A. was born in Vasto (Ch) on 14 November 1974, and became a Daughter of Mary Help of Christians in 1997 after a period of theological formation at the Pontifical Lateran University.
She graduated in Economics from Roma Tre University in 2001, and obtained a PhD in Political Economy from La Sapienza University of Rome (2006) and a PhD in Economics from East Anglia University (Norwich, UK 2014). In 2016, she carried out research activities at the University of Pennsylvania.
Her research interests are related to economic theories of cooperation and value-based organizations. She has authored several publications on these topics.
She is full professor of Political Economy at the Auxilium Faculty of Education. She has taught Economics of Cooperation at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (Milan) and the LUMSA University (Rome), Economics, Ethics and Finance at the Pontifical Salesian University (Rome) and International Economics at the Pontifical Lateran University. Since 2006 she has collaborated with the Italian Episcopal Conference for the Social Weeks of Catholics.
In 2018 she participated as an auditor at the Synod on “Youth, faith, vocational discernment”. Since 2019, she has been a Vatican State Councillor and Consultant to the General Secretariat for the Synod.
Since April 2020 she has been collaborating with the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development as Coordinator of the Task Force Economy in the Vatican Commission for Covid-19 and since March 2021 she has held the position of Undersecretary at the same Dicastery.
On 26 August 2021, the Holy Father appointed her as interim Secretary of the Dicastery and Delegate for the Vatican Covid-19 Commission, confirming her in this role on 23 December 2021.
On 23 April 202s, the Holy Father appointed her as Secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
Fr. Fabio Baggio, C.S. is a member of the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo. He gained a doctorate in Church history at the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1998. Fr. Baggio worked as a pastor in Santiago del Chile from 1995 to 1997, and was also advisor for migrations to the Chilean bishops’ conference (INCAMI). Afterwards until 2002, he served as director of the Department for Migration of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires.
From 1999-2010, he taught at the Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires as well as the Ateneo de Manila and the Maryhill School of Theology at Quezon City in the Philippines, where he was director of the Scalabrini Migration Center (SMC).
From the year 2000 he was also professor at the Scalabrini International Migration Institute (SIMI), which is incorporated into the theology Faculty of the Pontifical Urban University in Rome. He became its director in 2010.
From 1 January 2017 he is serving as Under-Secretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
On April 23, 2022, the Holy Father appointed him Undersecretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
Monsignor Anthony Ekpo was born on 24 September 1981 and was ordained a priest of Umuahia Diocese in 2011 following formation and undergraduate studies in Philosophy at the Seat of Wisdom Seminary, Owerri (Nigeria) and theology at the Holy Spirit Seminary, Brisbane (Australia). After ordination, he was appointed Associate Pastor at Surfers Paradise Parish, Gold Coast, Brisbane (Australia). From 2012 to 2015, he was appointed the Pastoral Assistant to the Archbishop of Brisbane and Associate Pastor at the Cathedral of Saint Stephen, Brisbane.
Mons. Ekpo holds doctorates in Systematic Theology (Australian Catholic University) and in Canon Law (Pontifical Gregorian University). He serves as an Adjunct Professor of the Australian Catholic University and a Visiting Professor of Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University. He has published numerous books and articles in the fields of theology and canon law.
Since 5 September 2016, Mons. Ekpo worked in the Section for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State. He was appointed Chaplain of His Holiness Pope Francis on 17 March 2023, and on 18 April 2023 His Holiness appointed him the Undersecretary of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development.