Integral Human Development: A New Organization of the Dicastery

“After five years of experience”, the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development (DSDHI), “has been reconfigured and renewed in its mission” “in the light of the new Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium (March 19, 2022), says a letter published this Wednesday, September 14, 2022 and signed by Cardinal Michael Czerny sj, prefect of the dicastery, Sister Alessandra Smerilli FMA, secretary of the dicastery, and Fr Fabio Baggio CS, under-secretary.

Quoting Praedicate Evangeliumthe signatories wish that the DSDHI “appropriates “the paradigm of the spirituality of the Council” expressed in “the ancient story of the good Samaritan””: “this spirituality has its source in the love of God”, “it reminds us that our duty is, in imitation of Christ, to serve our brothers and sisters, especially those who are most in need”.

In a brief presentation of the new organization of the dicastery, it is noted that Praedicate Evangelium of Pope Francis entrusts to the DSDHI “a broad objective”: “to promote the human person and his God-given dignity, human rights, health, justice and peace” (PE 163 §1) “in all areas of public and social life.

“Our mandate, it reads, is to help and support the Holy Father and bishops around the world. The “daily task” of the dicastery is “to listen, dialogue and reflect synodally; to discern, propose and support effective responses aimed at achieving and serving integral human development; to send the results back to the particular Churches and to disseminate the information widely”.

The staff of the dicastery “is now organized into three sections”: “Listening-Dialogue”, “Research-Reflection” and “Communication-Restitution”.

The first section represents “a two-way bridge with the local church and its various ministries”; the second – examines “the challenges” “in the light of all the necessary disciplines and of the social doctrine of the Church, in search of answers”, while in the third section “tangible and useful results are formulated, returned on the “field” and shared in a broader communication”.

The presentation document indicates that “three support teams” are created within the dicastery: “General Secretariat, Evaluation and Planning, Administration and General Services”.

The dicastery, we read, “is very attentive to the concerns expressed by the local Churches and to the requests they formulate, specific to local realities and in permanent evolution”.

Therefore, the “agenda” of the dicastery is “shaped by the challenges that the local Churches bring” to its “attention”. In the approach of the DSDHI, “listening and synodal reflection therefore constitute the basis for then discerning, proposing and finally communicating effective responses”.

Integral Human Development: A New Organization of the Dicastery – ZENIT – English