The Pontifical Council Cor Unum for Human and Christian Development was a pontifical council of the Roman Curia of the Catholic Church from 1971 to 2016.


The Pontifical Council was established by Pope Paul VI on 15 July 1971[1] and was based in the Palazzo San Callisto, on Piazza San Callisto, Rome.[2]

Effective 1 January 2017, the work of the Council was assumed by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development,[3] into which it was merged by Pope Francis.[4]


The name of the pontifical council means "one heart", which Paul VI explained in 1972: "So we were able to give your ecclesial action for aid the name of one heart, a heart that beats in rhythm with the heart of Christ, whose pity for the hungry multitudes reaches them even in their spiritual hunger".[5]

Its mission was "the care of the Catholic Church for the needy, thereby encouraging human fellowship and making manifest the charity of Christ", (Apostolic Constitution Pastor bonus, art. 145)[5] and it undertook this mission by carrying out humanitarian relief operations following disasters, fostering charity and encouraging cooperation and coordination of other Catholic organizations.[1]

Cor Unum was also responsible for the John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel to combat drought and desertification as well as the Populorum Progressio Foundation which worked with indigenous peoples.[1]

In 2009, the Council had 38 members, 6 consultors and a permanent staff of ten; the President, Secretary, Under-Secretary, Members and Consultors of the Council were appointed by the Pope for a period of five years.[1]







  1. ^ a b c d e Catholic Culture website, The Pontifical Council Cor Unum, by Fides Dossier, dated January 1, 2009
  2. ^ Vatican website, Together with the Holy Father to give witness to the Love of Christ among those Suffering in Soul and Body
  3. ^ National Catholic Reporter website, Dicastery for human development to oversee Caritas Internationalis, May 21, 2019
  4. ^ McElwee, Joshua J. (31 August 2016). "Francis creates new Vatican office for charity, justice, peace, migration". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  5. ^ a b Vatican website, Pontifical Council Cor Unum for Human and Christian Development
  6. ^ a b c Eternal Word Television Network website, Forty Years at the Service of the Charitable Works of the Church, by Cardinal Robert Sarah, dated July 20, 2011
  7. ^ Vatican website, Acta Apostolicae Sedis Commentarium Officiale (An. et Vol. LXX) , 1978
  8. ^ National Catholic Reporter, Cardinal Etchegaray, key papal envoy of St. John Paul II, dies at 96, article dated September 5, 2019
  9. ^ Eternal Word Television Network website, Papal Charity Worldwide, by Guido Giannini, dated May 11, 2005

External links and sources