Coptic Catholic Monsignor Yoannis Lahzi Gaid will conclude his mission as Pope Francis’ first personal Secretary on Saturday, July 31, 2020, although he will continue to work “very closely” with the Pontiff and the Holy See, reported Il Sismografo on Tuesday, July 28, 2020.
With all probability, the source continues, Monsignor Gaid, as well as the two previous personal assistants of the Pope, Alfred Xuareb and Fabian Pedacchio Leaniz, will continue being a close collaborator of Pope Francis from different positions and responsibilities. Monsignor Pedacchio works today in the Congregation for Bishops, and Monsignor Xuareb is Nuncio in Korea and Mongolia.
Monsignor Gaid is returning to his country to be close to his family, which includes several brothers, and also to follow new pastoral plans of the Coptic Catholic Church and, in particular, to address numerous files — as a member of the Vatican, together with Cardinal Ayuso Guixot, President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue –, of the Higher Committee for achieving the objectives of the Document on Human Fraternity (February 4, 2019).
Since the end of Benedict XVI’s pontificate, Archbishop Gaid has been the Pope’s “Arab voice” in official addresses and catecheses. Appointed in April 2014, Archbishop Gaid, who was born in Egypt in 1975, has carried out an “intelligent, delicate, and rich” pastoral service to the Church, from the outlying areas of Rome, and later to the Apostolic See, reported the Catholic information blog.
At the conclusion of his studies in Canon Law, in 2007 he began his collaboration with the Secretary of State, in particular in two delicate Nunciatures: Baghdad (Iraq) and Amman (Jordan).
The Present Secretary: Father Gonzalo Aemilius
After all these years of pontificate, the fourth (for now the last) personal Secretary of the Pope is Uruguayan Father Gonzalo Aemilius. The Pope’s previous personal assistants over these seven years were Alfred Xuareb, Fabian Pedacchio, and Yoannis Lahzi Gaid.
Father Aemilius, born in Montevideo, Uruguay, on September 18, 1979, was appointed in January of 2020. He succeeded Argentine Monsignor Fabian Pedacchio Leaniz, 55, whose departure was announced at the end of 2019, in the framework of an “ordinary rotation of functions.”