Coptic priest added as Pope Francis' second personal secretary
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
4/23/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Coptic Catholic priest Yoannis Lahzi Gaid has been personally chosen by Pope Francis as his second personal secretary. Lahzi Gaid is currently working in the first section of the Vatican Secretariat of State and is also one of the "translators" who reads the Gospel and summarizes the Pope's General Audience catechesis in Arabic.
Some say that the appointment of a Coptic Catholic priest is a sign of Pope Francis' commitment to dialogue with the Arab and Muslim world.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Lahzi Gaid will also work alongside Argentinean priest Fr. Fabián Pedacchio, following Alfred Xuereb promotion as the Vatican "finance ministry's" number two man.
Lahzi Gaid has been living in the St. Martha's House residence for a while now and is familiar with Italy. He was assistant parish priest of Latina (central Italy); in 2007 he edited a volume of texts from the Code of Canon Law for the Eastern Churches; he was the Vatican's diplomatic representative in Congo and Gabon and was then made charge d'affaires of the Apostolic Nunciature of Jordan and Iraq before returning to the Vatican.
He was also editor of the Web site of the Church in Alexandria, Egypt. Following the bloody attacks against the Coptic orthodox churches in 2011, he wrote an open letter to the Imam of Al Azhar University.
Lahzi Gaid will continue his daily duties in the Secretariat of State, alongside his new role, as Mgr. Pedacchio - who also works for the Congregation for Bishops - does. It's reported that the ideal personal secretary for Pope Francis acts almost like an invisible figure. He never follows the Pope and almost never accompanies him in public. Above all, he does not manage the Pope's agenda for him, deciding who he does and doesn't meet.
The fact that an Arabic-speaking priest who belongs to an Eastern Catholic rite as one of his closest collaborators marks one of the first time in modern history. It's seen as one of great significance and a sign of his support for the Eastern communities, many of which face difficult situations. It also shows Pope Francis' commitment to dialogue with the Arab and Muslim world.
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