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Villanova University to Confer Honorary Degree on Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace on February 25

Ghanaian Cardinal Drafted Pope Francis’ Recent “Laudato Si, On Care for Our Common Home” environmental encyclical. 

Villanova University to Confer Honorary Degree on Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace on February 25

VILLANOVA, Pa. – His Eminence Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Peace and Justice, will receive an Honorary Degree of Humane Letters from Villanova University on Thursday evening, February 25 at a ceremony to be held in St. Thomas of Villanova Church. The Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, Villanova University President, announced the award, citing Cardinal Turkson’s “faithful service to the Catholic Church, his extraordinary commitment to and work for interfaith dialogue, and his consistent work for the poor and the preservation of all creation.” The honor will be conferred following Cardinal Turkson’s 7:30 p.m. lecture, held in the church, titled, “The Care of Creation as a Work of Mercy.” The lecture and ceremony are both open to the public.

A champion of environmentalism and sustainability, Cardinal Turkson provided the draft of Laudato Si, On Care for Our Common Home, to Pope Francis prior to the eagerly anticipated declaration of the Pontiff’s encyclical on the environment and human ecology in May 2015.  

Cardinal Turkson was ordained to the priesthood in 1975 and 18 years later was ordained and installed as the Archbishop of Cape Coast, Ghana. In 2003, Pope John Paul II named him to the Sacred Council of Cardinals. During his time as an Archbishop and Cardinal, Cardinal Turkson has received numerous honors and awards including honorary degrees from the University of Ghana in Legon, the University of Education in Winneba, Holy Cross College at Notre Dame and Duquesne University. He is also the recipient of the Order of the Star, a national honor of the Republic of Ghana.

On Wednesday, February 24, from 9:30 – 11 a.m., Cardinal Turkson will visit Villanova’s College of Engineering (COE) for a presentation and overview of the College’s sustainability programs. The public is invited to attend the session in Rm. 001 at the COE’s Center for Engineering Education and Research (CEER). Short presentations will be given on the COE’s sustainability degree programs, research, and on the Villanova Engineering Service Learning Program. The Cardinal will offer remarks and answer questions from the audience.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit