The 73-year-old cardinal, who speaks six languages, became the first president of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development in 2016 after his pontifical council was merged into the new body along with three others.
The rumors of his resignation appeared a few months after Pope Francis ordered an inspection of the dicastery, led by Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, that was followed by personnel changes.
Turkson’s departure left the Vatican without no African leaders among the heads of its dicasteries for the first time since 1977.
Bishop Sorondo’s long tenure at the pontifical academies has been marked by controversy in recent years. In 2018, he praised China’s global leadership, saying that “at this moment, those who best realize the social doctrine of the Church are the Chinese.”
In 2020, he defended his decision to administer the Eucharist to Argentina’s president, despite Alberto Fernández’s effort to legalize abortion in his country.
In the same year, he also defended the frequent presence of economist Jeffrey Sachs, an advocate for contraception and “reproductive justice,” at Vatican conferences.