Pope Francis appointed Monsignor Marcello Semeraro, until now Bishop of Albano, Italy, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, reported today, October 15, 2020, the Holy See Press Office.
This appointment follows the renunciation on September 24, of Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu.
At present Cardinal Becciu is under investigation for embezzlement of funds and nepotism. He renounced his office as Prefect of the Dicastery and to “the rights inherent to the Cardinalate” (participation in the Pre-Conclave and Conclave for the election of a new Pope).
Bishop Semeraro, who will be 73 in December, was born in Monteroni di Lecce, Puglia. He was ordained priest in 1971 and appointed by John Paul II Bishop of Oria in 1998. He has been a Professor of Ecclesiology in the Lateran University.
The Holy Father and Monsignor have known one another since 2001, when the Synod of Bishops took place on the theme “The Bishop, Servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the Hope of the World.” Francis, who was then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, was the General Rapporteur, and Monsignor Semeraro was his right-hand man as Special Secretary for the preparation of Documents and the drawing up of proposals.
The Italian Prelate has been secretary of the Council of Cardinals, which helps the Holy Father in the government of the universal Church and he is studying a plan to revise the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus on the Roman Curia. Given his new appointment, Bishop Semeraro has been succeeded in his post by Monsignor Marco Mellino. Deputy Secretary of the Council since October 2018.
On September 21, 2019, Bishop Semeraro welcomed Pope Francis on his pastoral visit to Albano.
Report by Larissa I. Lopez, Anne Kurian-Montabone, and Deborah Lubov