Vatican Head of Justice and Peace to Address 2011 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering

January 12, 2011 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, will address the opening plenary of the 2011 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering, which will be February 13-16, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington.

The theme of the 2011 Gathering is “Protecting Human Life and Dignity: Promoting a Just Economy.” The Gathering is sponsored by 19 Catholic organizations, including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and brings together hundreds of Catholic social ministry leaders from national Catholic organizations, local dioceses, religious congregations, Catholic education, health care and others.

Cardinal Turkson, who will speak February 13, is a native of Ghana. He served as the archbishop of Cape Coast from 1992- 2009, when Pope Benedict XVI appointed him to lead the Vatican’s justice and peace efforts. He will speak on the theme, “The Legacy of Rerum Novarum:the Current Challenges of Catholic Social Teaching,” offering reflections on the place of Catholic social teaching in the life and ministry of the Church. Following the opening plenary, the cardinal will celebrate the Gathering’s opening Mass with Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, California, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

At the Domestic Issues Plenary, February 14, a panel of national leaders will participate in a panel discussion about the state of poverty in the United States and positive ways to reduce the number of people living in poverty. Panelists will include Father Fred Kammer, SJ, director of the Jesuit Social Research Center, as well as leaders from Catholic Charities and organizations funded by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). Kathy Saile, director of the USCCB’s Office of Domestic Social Development, will moderate the discussion.

Paul Collier, a professor of economics at Oxford University and director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies, will address the Gathering’s International Issues Plenary the morning of February 15. Collier is the author of several books including The Bottom Billion and writes a monthly column for the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. He has advised the strategy and policy department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Africa region of the World Bank and the British government.

The Gathering will also include numerous workshops, a Capitol Hill visit and reception and a closing liturgy celebrated Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace.

The deadline to register for the gathering is January 20. For more information on the 2011 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering, visit


Keywords: Catholic Social Ministry Gathering, 2011, Cardinal Peter Turkson, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Omni Shoreham Hotel, Paul Collier, Oxford, Father Fred Kammer, SJ