Pope Francis named a new prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints Thursday following Cardinal Angelo Becciu’s dramatic resignation from the post last month.
The pope appointed Bishop Marcello Semeraro, who has acted as secretary of the Council of Cardinal Advisers since it was established in 2013, to the position Oct. 15.
The 72-year-old Italian has served as bishop of Albano, a suburbicarian diocese located about 10 miles from Rome, since 2004.
Semeraro succeeds Becciu, who stood down Sept. 24 amid accusations that he was involved in embezzlement in his previous role as the second-ranking official at the Vatican Secretariat of State. Becciu was appointed prefect in August 2018, serving for two years. He has denied allegations of financial misconduct.
Semeraro was born in Monteroni di Lecce, southern Italy, on Dec. 22, 1947. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1971 and named bishop of Oria, in Apulia, in 1998.
He served as special secretary of the 2001 synod of bishops, which addressed the role of diocesan bishops.
He is a member of the Italian bishops’ doctrinal commission, a consultor of the Vatican Congregation for the Oriental Churches, and a member of the Dicastery for Communication. He has served previously as a member of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
As secretary of the council of cardinals, Semeraro has helped to coordinate efforts to create a new Vatican constitution, replacing the 1998 text “Pastor bonus.”
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