On 20 March 2020, Pope Francis asked the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (DPIHD) to create a Commission, in collaboration with other Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, to express the Church's solicitude and care for the whole human family facing the COVID-19 pandemic, including analysis, reflection on the new socio-economic-cultural future, and the proposal of relevant approaches.
Accordingly, DPIHD has established a Vatican COVID-19 Commission to take up the Pope's concern through the activities of five Working Groups.
The activities of these five working groups, which were presented to the Holy Father on 27 March 2020, will be coordinated by a Directorate reporting directly to the Holy Father. It will include the DPIHD's Prefect, Cardinal Peter Turkson; Secretary, Mons. Bruno-Marie Duffé; and Adjunct Secretary, Fr. Augusto Zampini.
Acting now for the futureWorking Group 1, coordinated by DPIHD, is dedicated to serving local Churches by listening to them and supporting them as protagonists of their situations, in cooperation with Caritas Internationalis. The group is also tasked with collaborating fruitfully with charitable initiatives promoted by other Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, such as the Office of Papal Charities, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Vatican Pharmacy.
Looking to the future with creativityWorking Group 2, coordinated by DPIHD, will do research and studies of the present covid-19 epidemic and its related issues and to think about a post COVID-19 society and world, especially in areas of ecology, economics, labour, healthcare, politics-governance, communications and security. Partners of this Working Group are the Pontifical Academy for Life and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and the multiple organizations collaborating with DPIHD.
Working Group 3, coordinated by the Dicastery for Communications, will disseminate information about the work of the Teams and promote communication with and among local Churches, helping them to respond authentically and credibly in the post-COVID-19 world.
Seeking common dialogue and reflections
Working Group 4, coordinated by the Second Section of the Secretariat of State, will support the Holy See in its activities and relations with States and International Organizations, communicating with them the fruits of the research, dialogue, and reflections.
Supporting to care
Working Group 5, coordinated by DPIHD, is responsible for fundraising to support the work of the Vatican COVID-19 Commission in assistance to local Churches and Catholic organizations, and in its research, analysis and communications.