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Vatican: Appointment of New Personal Secretary to Pope Francis

Vatican: Appointment of New Personal Secretary to Pope Francis

One of the Pope’s two personal secretaries was replaced on August 1. Matteo Bruni, the director of the Press Office of the Holy See, presented this replacement as a rotation wanted by the Pope himself.

Matteo Bruni said that this appointment took place “within the framework of a normal turnover of people, desired by Pope Francis for the collaborators of the Roman Curia.”

The replaced secretary, Msgr. Yoannis Lahzi Gaïd, who had held the post of secretary to the Pope since April 2014, has completed his service. This Egyptian Coptic-Catholic priest nevertheless retains his place as a member of the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity, the body that promotes the “Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together,” signed in February 2019 in Abu Dhabi by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed al-Tayeb.  

The replacement secretary is Fr. Fabio Salerno, born in Catanzaro, Italy, on April 25, 1979. He was ordained a priest on March 19, 2011, and is incardinated in the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Catanzaro-Squillace.

After obtaining a doctorate in utroque juris – that is, in canon law and civil law – at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, he studied at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. This academy, formerly called the Academy of Ecclesiastical Nobles, was founded by Pope Clement XI in 1701. It trains members of the Holy See’s diplomatic corps. It is the oldest diplomatic school in the world.

Fr. Fabio served as secretary in the Apostolic Nunciature in Indonesia and at the Holy See’s Permanent Mission to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. He had been working for some time in the State Relations Section of the Secretary of State.

The other personal secretary, Fr. Gonzalo Aemilius, of Uruguayan origin, was appointed to this post last January.

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