- Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson has reportedly resigned from his post at the Vatican
- According to reports, the Ghanaian cardinal tendered in his resignation and is awaiting the Pope's decision
- Cardinal Turkson was appointed by Pope Francis as the first Prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development
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Ghana's Cardinal Peter Turkson has reportedly abruptly offered his resignation from his key Vatican position, sources familiar with the matter said on Saturday.
According to a report sighted by YEN.com.gh on international news website Reuters, Cardinal Turkson decided to step down due to matters believed to be related to internal politics.
Turkson, 73, has been a key adviser to Pope Francis on issues such as climate change and social justice, and is the only African to head a Vatican department.
According to the reports, Vatican sources have said even though the resignation has been tendered, the pope would decide whether to accept it.
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Turkson is the head of a large Vatican department known as the Dicastery for Integral Human Development.
It was formed in 2016 to merge four offices that dealt with issues such as peace, justice, migration, and charities.
Cardinal Turkson's departure would leave the Vatican with no African heading a major department, following the retirement of Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea earlier in 2021.
Turkson's department underwent an external review headed by Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago at the pope's request earlier this year.
The Ghanaian was seen by some as a candidate to become the first African pope in about 1,500 years.
The Catholic Church had several popes of North African origin early in its history, the last in the 5th century.
Even if he leaves his Vatican post, until he turns 80 Turkson would still be eligible to enter a conclave of cardinals to elect the next pope after Francis dies or retires, according to Church rules.
Turkson's decision to offer his resignation was first reported by the conservative Italian blog messainlatino.it.
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