Pope’s personal secretary will return to Vatican Congregation for Bishops

Vatican City, Nov 25, 2019 / 10:15 am (CNA).- The personal secretary to Pope Francis will leave his position in December, after nearly seven years of service to the pope.

Msgr. Fabian Pedacchio, an Argentine priest, will return to duties at the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops, where he had been working at the time of Pope Francis’ election, papal spokesman Matteo Bruni confirmed Nov. 25.

Pedacchio, a canon lawyer, had continued part-time duties at the Congregation for Bishops even while serving as an assistant to the pope.

Bruni said that the Pedacchio’s departure from the pope’s office is an ordinary administrative decision, and not personal, according to Argentine newspaper La Nacion.

The job, Bruni said, was “a temporary service, at the end of which another begins, neither a prize nor punishment, but the ordinary rotation of functions.”

Pedacchio, 55, is a priest of the Buenos Aires archdiocese, and was sent to Rome in 2007 to work at the Congregation for Bishops by then-Cardinal Bergoglio. The pope asked Pedacchio to serve as his personal secretary shortly after his 2013 election.

In recent pontificates, popes have maintained personal secretaries for longer periods of time: Now-Cardinal Stanislaus Dziwisz was secretary to Pope St. John Paul II for forty years, and Archbishop George Ganswein was personal secretary for Pope emeritus Benedict XVI for the entirety of the former pope’s tenure in office.

Pedacchio has reportedly lived at the Casa Santa Marta, the Vatican hotel in which Pope Francis resides, during his term of service. He is expected to return to the priests’ residence outside the Vatican where he had previously lived.

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