The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has the task of promoting the human person and the God-given dignity of all, together with human rights, health, justice and peace. It is principally concerned with matters relating to the economy and work, the care of creation and the earth as our “common home”, migration and humanitarian emergencies.
It examines and spreads the Church’s social doctrine on integral human development and, in the light of the Gospel, recognizes and interprets both the current and future needs and concerns of the human race.
It supports the particular Churches, Episcopal Conferences, their regional and continental groupings and the hierarchical structures of the Eastern Churches in the area of integral human promotion, and recognizes their contribution.
It makes use of experts from Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and from organizations for development and humanitarian intervention. It cooperates with the representatives of civil society and international organizations, respecting the competencies of the Secretariat of State.
In cooperation with Episcopal Conferences, their regional and continental groupings and the hierarchical structures of the Eastern Churches, the Dicastery fosters the implementation of the Church’s magisterium in the areas of the protection and integral development of the environment, working with members of other Christian confessions and of other religions, with civil authorities and organizations, and with international organizations.
In its activity of promoting justice and peace, the Dicastery:
1. actively works for the prevention and resolution of conflicts, also identifying and analysing their possible causes, in consultation with the Secretariat of State and with the involvement of Episcopal Conferences and the hierarchical structures of the Eastern Churches;
2. undertakes to defend and promote the dignity and fundamental rights of human persons as well as their social, economic and political rights;
3. supports initiatives against human trafficking, forced prostitution, the exploitation of minors and vulnerable individuals and various forms of slavery and torture, and works to ensure that the international community is attentive and sensitive to the issue of the treatment of prisoners and their living conditions and is committed to the abolition of the death penalty;
4. endeavours to ensure that through the particular Churches, effective and appropriate material and spiritual assistance is given – if necessary also through appropriate pastoral structures – to migrants, refugees, displaced persons and others involved in human movement in need of specific pastoral care.
Within particular Churches, the Dicastery promotes the pastoral care of seafarers, both at sea and in ports, especially through the Apostolate of the Sea, which it directs.
It exercises the same care for those who serve on aircraft or in airports.
The Dicastery, in cooperation with Episcopal Conferences, their regional and continental groupings and the hierarchical structures of the Eastern Churches, promotes the fight against poverty, and works with national and international institutions for the pursuit of integral human development. It encourages initiatives against corruption and in favour of good governance, so that the public interest may be served and trust in the international community may increase.
The Dicastery promotes and defends equitable economic models and sober lifestyles, especially by promoting initiatives against the economic and social exploitation of poor countries, asymmetrical commercial relations, financial speculation and development models that create exclusion.
The Dicastery cooperates with diocesan/eparchial Bishops, Episcopal Conferences and the hierarchical structures of the Eastern Churches in order to increase awareness of the need for peace, and for the commitment to justice and solidarity towards the weakest and most fragile in society, especially on the occasion of World Days dedicated to these themes.
The Dicastery, together with Episcopal Conferences, their regional and continental groupings and the hierarchical structures of the Eastern Churches, analyses – and is committed to overcoming – the main causes of migration and flight from countries of origin. It likewise promotes initiatives of solidarity and integration in the countries of welcome. In consultation with the Secretariat of State, it cooperates with organizations for development and humanitarian interventions and international organizations for the drafting and adoption of norms in favour of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants.
The Dicastery promotes and encourages just and integral health care. It supports the initiatives of Dioceses, Eparchies, Institutes of Consecrated Life, Societies of Apostolic Life, Caritas and lay associations in seeking to prevent the marginalization of the sick and disabled, and to overcome the lack of care due to shortages of staff, hospital equipment or the supply of medicines to poor countries. It also devotes attention to the lack of research in the fight against disease.
§ 1. The Dicastery also cooperates with the Secretariat of State in participating in the Holy See’s Delegations to intergovernmental meetings on matters pertaining to its competence.
§ 2. On matters regarding relations with civil governments and other subjects of international law, it maintains close relations with the Secretariat of State, especially when it intends to speak publicly through documents or statements.
The Dicastery cooperates with the Holy See’s agencies for humanitarian aid in crisis areas, working with ecclesial humanitarian and development organizations.
The Dicastery maintains a close relationship with the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and the Pontifical Academy for Life, respecting their statutes.
It is competent with regard to Caritas Internationalis and the International Catholic Migration Commission, according to their statutes.
It exercises the responsibilities reserved by law to the Holy See in establishing and supervising international charitable associations and funds created for the same purposes, in accordance with the provisions of the respective statutes and in compliance with current legislation.
[Apostolic Constituion, Praedicate Evangelium, 19 March 2022]