The Catholic Pontiff Pope Francis has appointed Most Reverend Matthew Hassan Kukah, Catholic Bishop of Sokoto as a Member of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting of Integral Human Development. The appointment was contained in a recent letter signed by His Eminence, Cardinal Peter Turkson, the Prefect of the Dicastery.
By this appointment, Bishop Kukah will join other members of the Dicastery drawn from different regions of the world to advise and promote the Holy Father’s concerns on issues of justice and peace, human rights, torture, human trafficking, care of creation and other issues related to the promotion of human dignity and development. The appointment, which is renewable is for an initial period of five years. The Council will be formally inaugurated on a later date.
This appointment adds to Bishop Kukah’s string of national and international engagements within the universal Catholic Church. He was first appointed a Consultor and later a Member of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, Vatican City and served under three Popes. He is currently, Chairman of the Dialogue Committees of both the Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa (RECOWA) and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN). He was a member of the official Delegation of the Holy See that met with the Emir of Qatar when the country opened diplomatic relations with the Holy See in 2002.
In 2016, Bishop Kukah was nominated by the Vatican to represent Africa on the Advisory Board of the Vienna-based, King Abdulazeez International Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue (KAIICID). KAIICID is the fruit of the collaboration between the governments of Saudi Arabia, Austria and the Holy See for the promotion of worldwide dialogur between world religions. Bishop Kukah comes to the Dicastery on Promoting Integral Human Development with a lot of experience in the areas of human rights, justice and reconciliation.
Fr Christopher A. Omotosho
Director, Social Communications
Catholic Diocese of Sokoto.