Egyptian priest appointed secretary to Pope Francis
Father Yoannis Lahzi Gaid with Pope Francis - Photo courtesy of coptcatholic.net
By AMIRA EL-FEKKI

CAIRO: Pope Francis has appointed Father Yoannis Lahzi Gaid as his personal secretary, marking the first time in Vatican history for an Egyptian priest to be designated for such a position, Youm7 reported on Saturday.

“This is the first time in the history of the Coptic Catholic Church and an honor to us,” said the official website of the Egyptian Coptic Church in Alexandria on April 19.

According to the website, Father Lahzi Gaid has been working as Secretary-General for the State of Vatican, specialized in English-Arabic translation since October 2012.

Pastor Rafik Greich, media spokesperson for the Catholic Church in Egypt expressed his enthusiasm regarding the recent employment, which was made when Father Lahzi Gaid returned to Vatican after his visit to Egypt last week, Greich told Al-Bawaba News on Saturday.

Yoannis succeeds of Monsignor Alfred Xuereb, who was named Secretariat for the Economy, and has been appointed as the Pope’s second secretary along with Father Fabian Pedacchio, the Argentine priest who has been assisting Pope Francis since shortly after his election, Catholic Culture website reported on Friday.

Additional reporting by Gamal Gergis.

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