Cardinal Turkson Chancellor for Pontifical Academies for Sciences and Social Sciences
By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis has chosen Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson to head the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.
He succeeds Argentine Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, who will be 80 years old on September 8 and who has held these posts since 1998.
73-year-old Cardinal Turkson is the Prefect emeritus of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
Long service in the Church
Cardinal Turkson who is also the Archbishop emeritus of Cape Coast, in Ghana, is the first Ghanaian Cardinal. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Cape Coast on July 20, 1975, at St. Francis De Sales Cathedral. He continued his studies in Rome at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, earning a license in Sacred Scripture. He also holds master degrees in Theology and Divinity.
He was appointed Metropolitan Archbishop of Cape Coast by Pope St. John Paul II in 1992 and received episcopal ordination the following year. He was president of the Ghanaian Conference of Catholic Bishops from 1997 to 2004 and after holding various posts, in 2009, at the conclusion of the II Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops for which he was General Rapporteur, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. In September 2013, Pope Francis confirmed him at the head of that Pontifical Council which later became the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
The Pontifical Academies of Social Sciences and of Sciences
Both the Pontifical Academies of Social Sciences and of Sciences have their headquarters inside the Vatican in the Casina Pio IV. They are part of the 10 Pontifical Academies operated by the Holy See to study and promote events on various subjects that are of interest to the Vatican.
The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences was established in 1994 by Pope St. John Paul II to promote “the study and progress of the social sciences, primarily economics, sociology, law and political science.”
The Pontifical Academy of Sciences was founded in 1603, and at the time was the first exclusively scientific academy in the world.