Pope Benedict XVI has tapped Cardinal Peter Turkson from Cape Coast, Ghana on Saturday to serve as the new head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Cardinal Turkson will replace Cardinal Renato Martino, who is two years past the mandatory retirement age.
At the age of 61, Cardinal Turkson will ensure that the Justice and Peace post is filled for quite some time. The Ghanaian cardinal is often described as a rising star in Church circles, having been appointed the Archbishop of Cape Coast at the young age of 44 and then made a cardinal 11 years later.
Cardinal Turkson has also served in a prominent role at the just-completed Synod for Africa, which concluded on Saturday.
The African cardinal will replace Cardinal Renato Martino, who has served in the post since 2002. According to a Vatican communique, the Holy Father welcomed his resignation upon having reached the age limit.
Prior to his service at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the Council Pastoral Care for Migrants and Intinerants, Cardinal Martino was the Holy See's representative to the United Nations in New York from 1986-2002.