Pope Francis has continued to follow his tradition of rotating priests to serve as his personal secretary.
The pontiff has recently appointed the 41-year-old official from the Vatican Secretariat of State, Fr. Fabio Salerno as his new personal secretary. (Read: The Man Who Serves Two Popes)
Fr. Salerno succeeds Msgr. Yoannis Lahzi Gaid, who served in the role since April 2014. Gaid, a priest born in Cairo, Egypt, was the first Eastern Catholic to hold the position. He will now focus on his work with the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, a body formed after the pope and Grand Imam of Al-Azhar signed the Document on Human Fraternity in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in February 2019.
According to the Vatican Press Office, Fr. Salerno works in the Secretariat of State’s Section for Relations with States.
Who is Fr. Fabio Salerno?
Fr. Salerno was born in Catanzaro, Italy on April 25, 1979. He was ordained in the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Catanzaro-Squillace on March 19, 2011.
He is a doctorate degree holder of both civil and church law from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. After studying at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, he served as secretary of the apostolic nunciature in Indonesia and of the Permanent Mission of the Holy See to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France. (Read: Pope Francis Names the New Director of Vatican Health Fund)
Fr. Salerno will work with Fr. Gonzalo Aemilius, a Uruguayan who formerly worked with street children. Fr. Aemilius also served as Pope Francis’ personal secretary in January. He replaced Msgr. Fabian Pedacchio who occupied the post from 2013 to 2019.
The Pope named Aemilius as his personal secretary in January, replacing the Argentine Mgsr. Fabián Pedacchio, who occupied the post from 2013 to 2019, when he returned to his position at the Congregation of Bishops. (Read: Pope Francis appoints Cardinal Tagle as new member of his “cabinet”)