Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson has issued a statement in response to the news of his alleged resignation.
Cardinal Peter Turkson, a prominent advisor to Pope Francis on climate change and social justice, made headlines lately for unexpectedly resigning from a key Vatican department, according to individuals familiar with the incident.
According to him, he did not submit a letter of resignation from his job at the Vatican, as the press reports claim.
He only submitted a notice to the Pope informing him of the expiry of his term of office, which is part of the Vatican’s bureaucratic routine.
“At the Vatican, each post is allocated for a period of five years, after which the term is prolonged, renewed, or the staff is sent to another position. I left Ghana in 2010, which means I’ve been here for eleven years and served two five-year terms.”
“At the conclusion of the five-year period, my mandate was somewhat amended and extended. When I arrived, I was assigned to head an agency named Justice and Peace, which merged after five years. Three further offices were merged with ours in August 2016, completing the second set of five years.
“As a result, 2021 marks the conclusion of the second set of five years. Thus, at the close of all of these years, you informed the Pope that your five-year term had expired, allowing him to make a decision,” he said.
The 73-year-old Vatican official is in charge of a sizable Vatican agency called the Dicastery for Integral Human Development. It was founded in 2016 after the consolidation of four agencies that dealt with peace, justice, migration, and charity.
Cardinal Turkson, according to insiders, had become “tired” of internal strife.
However, in his answer, he rejected the claims.
“So this is what occurred last year; the Pope chose to retire and…have you go on, and that is precisely what happened; you have to tell the Pope that your five years are over, and doing so is not resignation; it is just noticed,” he remarked on Accra’s Asaase radio.
“In Italian, we say that you return your mandate to him to reassign, extend, amend, or do anything he wants with it.”
That is precisely what occurred. Why this was construed as resignation beyond my imagination, and as a response, I tweeted to clarify everything, but others took things as they pleased. “There was nothing to be concerned about or disturbed about,” he said.