Cardinal Peter Turkson to Speak at Ohio State


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the first cardinal from Ghana, will visit the Columbus campus of The Ohio State University for a community discussion on global sustainability. Turkson’s talk is on Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. in Mershon Auditorium, 1871 N. High St., and will be followed by a fireside chat with Ohio State President Michael V. Drake. Bruce McPheron, the university’s vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, will moderate the chat.


The event is open to the public, but tickets are required to attend. Tickets can be reserved online at


Respected around the world as a Scripture scholar, an advocate for the poor and disenfranchised in the developing world, and a spokesperson for protecting the environment as a matter of social justice, Turkson has long made news with his comments linking ecology and human life. He has become the face of climate change at the Vatican, having led the drafting process of Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment, presented at the April 28 Vatican conference on climate change and introduced the encyclical during a June 18 news conference.


The purpose of encyclical letter Laudato Si, as the document is titled, is to elevate the debate on the moral dimensions of protecting the environment and to highlight the intrinsic connection between respect for the environment and respect for people. The encyclical calls for renewed and urgent action and honest dialogue about the environment, both social and ecological.


Turkson’s visit to Ohio State is part of a four-day stay in Columbus. In addition to speaking to students, faculty and the central Ohio community on Nov. 2, he will also address the faith community during a Oct. 31 conference organized by the Diocese of Columbus and will hold Mass at a local parish on Nov. 1.


Ohio State strives to educate its students to become global citizens and recognizes its ongoing and evolving need to contribute to progress in the creation, dissemination and assimilation of knowledge of economic, environmental and social sustainability as essential aspects of intellectual growth and development. Cardinal Turkson’s visit will deepen the university’s conversation about sustainability, morality, politics and society by raising awareness and understanding of this important statement of Catholic environmental teaching that has become a topic of conversations worldwide.


Turkson’s visit to Ohio State is sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, School of Environment and Natural Resources, Office of Energy and Environment, Humanities Institute, St. Thomas More Newman Center, Glenn College of Public Affairs, Mershon Center for International Security Studies, and additional partners and student organizations.


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Editor: Cardinal Turkson will be available for media interviews at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 2 at the Ohio Union on Ohio State’s campus, 1739 N. High St. Contact Gina Langen, Office of Energy and Environment, at


CFAES News Team