By Vatican News
Pope Francis on Thursday appointed Bishop Marcello Semeraro, currently Bishop of Albano, as the new Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. He succeeds Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, who resigned his post on September 24.
Semeraro, who turns 73 in December, was born in Monteroni di Lecce, Puglia, in Italy. He was ordained priest in 1971 and was appointed Bishop of Oria by St. John Paul II in 1998. He was then transferred to the Suburbicarian Church of Albano on 1 October 2004. He is currently Apostolic Administrator ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of the Exarchic Monastery of S. Maria di Grottaferrata and Pontifical Delegate of the Basilian Order of Italy.
He received his initial formation at the Pontifical Regional Seminary of Puglia, Pius XI of Molfetta, and, subsequently, he finished his theological studies at the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome where he obtained the academic degrees of Licentiate and Doctorate in Sacred Theology. He then began the ministry of teaching Dogmatic Theology at the Pugliese Theological Institute and then Ecclesiology at the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical Lateral University. He has published several books, articles and dictionary entries on the themes of ecclesiology. After the call to the episcopate he published texts on pastoral and priestly spirituality, including a book with the “Preface” by Pope Francis.
He was Special Secretary of the 10th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Bishop: Servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the hope of the world. He participated in the XIV Ordinary General Assembly on The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world; in the XV Ordinary General Assembly on Youth, faith and vocational discernment and in the Special Assembly for the Panamazzonic Region in 2019, all by pontifical nomination.
Since 2013 he has been Secretary of the “Council of Cardinals”, helping the Holy Father in the government of the Universal Church, a role that the Pope has entrusted today to Bishop Marco Mellino, until now Deputy Secretary. Bishop Semeraro has been a member of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints since 2009. He is a member of the Dicastery for Communication and Consultor of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. Finally, he is President for the Latium Episcopal Conference of the Regional Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith, Announcement and Catechesis, Member of the CEI Episcopal Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith, Announcement and Catechesis and President of the Board of Directors of the newspaper”Avvenire – Nuova Editrice SpA”.
Last September, Bishop Semeraro welcomed Pope Francis on a pastoral visit to Albano.