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Copyright: Vatican Media

Pope Francis Names Fr. Aemilius New Personal Secretary

Priest of Uruguay Used to Help Youth on the Street

“Pope Francis has named Fr. Gonzalo Aemilius, of the clergy in Montevideo, Uruguay, as his personal secretary.”

The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, made this declaration Sunday, January 26, 2020.

“Father Gonzalo,” Bruni’s statement concluded, “was born on Sept. 18, 1979,  ordained a priest on May 6, 2006, and has a doctorate in theology.”

The secretary does not come from the Roman Curia, and rather is used to being among the people, working with youth on the street and the marginalized.

He takes the place of Argentinian priest, Msgr. Fabian Pedacchio, who served as Francis’ secretary from 2013 to 2019. He recently returned to working entirely within the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops.

Fr.Aemilius joins along with Francis’ other particular secretary, Egyptian Father Yoannis Lahzi Gaid.

According to the Italian blog the IlSismografo, on 17 March 2013, within a few days of becoming Pope, Pope Francis presented Father Gonzalo to the faithful of the Vatican’s parish of Sant’Anna.

“There are some,” Francis then observed, “who are not parishioners: these Argentine priests, one is my auxiliary bishop, but for today they will be parishioners. But I want to introduce you to a priest who comes from afar, he has come, a priest who has been working with street kids for a long time, with drug addicts. He opened a school for them, he did many things to make Jesus known, and all these street boys and girls today work with the study they have done, have work skills, believe and love Jesus.”

“I ask you, Gonzalo,” the Pope said, “come to greet the people.”

“Pray for him,” Pope Francis said, adding: “He works in Uruguay, he is the founder of the Jubilar John Paul II High School: he does this job. I don’t know how he got here today.”

“I will find out!” he said.

Pope Francis concluded, saying thank you and telling the parishioners: “Pray for him.”

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': or

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