• Building Bridges By Faith
  • 2017 Catholic Health Assembly

Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson

Tuesday, June 13, 9:45 a.m.

Cardinal Turkson

Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson
Prefect, Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development
Read bio

Initiated in 2014, this annual lecture is presented in honor of Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan, who worked throughout his life to bring about healing for all people, especially the most vulnerable. The retired auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn, N.Y., died in June of 2013.

During his long career in ministry, Bishop Sullivan led Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens, and from the early days of the AIDS epidemic, he continued to call for better care and services for persons living with HIV and AIDS. His concern for suffering people across the globe was evident in his ten years of service with Catholic Medical Mission Board. He was passionately committed to access to quality health care for all people.

Bishop Sullivan served on the Board of Trustees of CHA beginning in 1984, and he chaired the board in 1990-1991. From 2000 to 2008, he was episcopal liaison to CHA from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. At the time of his death, Bishop Sullivan was a member of the board of Mercy health system (Chesterfield, Mo.), which he chaired from 2004 to 2007.

With warmth, wit and expansive knowledge, this man of deep faith was a lifelong champion for his sisters and brothers in need.

Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson

Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, Prefect, Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Coast (Ghana), was born on Oct. 11, 1948, in Nsuta-Wassaw, Ghana.

He attended St. Teresa's Seminary from 1962-1969 in Amisano and St. Peter's Regional Seminary in Pedu from 1969-1971.

On July 20, 1975, he was ordained for the Archdiocese of Cape Coast.

He then continued his studies in Rome at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, earning a license in Sacred Scripture (1976-1980), and then began work on his doctoral thesis (1987-1992). He also holds master degrees in Theology and Divinity from St. Anthony-on-Hudson, Conv. Franciscan Seminary, New York.

From 1975-1976 and 1980-1981 he served as staff member at St. Theresa's Seminary, and from 1981-1987 as staff member at St Peter's Seminary. He was Acting Chaplain and Lecturer at the University of Cape Coast (1984-1986) and Visiting Lecturer at the Catholic Major Seminary, Anyama, Ivory Coast (1983-1986). He has been a Chancellor of the Catholic University College of Ghana since 2003.

On Oct. 6, 1992, he was appointed Metropolitan Archbishop of Cape Coast and received episcopal ordination on March 27, 1993.

He served as president of the Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference (1997-2004). He was a member of Governing Council of the University of Ghana, Legon (2001-2006) and of the board of directors of Central Region Development Commission (CEDECOM) (2002-2006). He served as treasurer of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) (2007-2009) and as vice president of the Association of Episcopal Conferences of Anglophone West Africa (AECAWA). He served as president of the Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa (RECOWA) (2007-2009).

He was also chairman of the Ghana Chapter of the Conference of Religions for Peace (2003-2007) and Ghana National Peace Council (2006-2010).

General Relator of the 2nd Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, "The Church in Africa, at the Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace. 'You are the salt of the earth, ... you are the light of the world'" (October 4-25, 2009).

On Oct. 24, 2009, he was nominated President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

On Sept. 24, 2013, he was confirmed by Pope Francis as President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

He has been awarded numerous honorary degrees and speaks six languages (Fante, English, French, Italian, German, Hebrew).

He participated in the conclave of April 2005, which elected Pope Benedict XVI and in the conclave of March 2013, which elected Pope Francis.

On Aug. 31, 2016, Card. Turkson was appointed Prefect of the new Department for the Service of the Integral Human Development, instituted by the Holy Father Francis with his Apostolic Letter in form of "Motu Proprio," "Humanam progressionem," given in Rome at Saint Peter's on Aug. 17, 2016, effective Jan. 1, 2017.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by  St. John Paul II in the Consistory of Oct. 21, 2003, of the Title of S. Liborio (St. Liborius).

Member of:

  • Congregation: for the Doctrine of the Faith; for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; for the Evangelization of Peoples; for Catholic Education
  • Pontifical Councils: for Promoting Christian Unity; Cor Unum
  • XIV Ordinary Council of the Secretariat General of the Synod of Bishops
  • II Special Council for Africa of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops