Pope Francis appoints Spanish layman as secretary general of Vatican's economy office

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Pope Francis Tuesday appointed a Spanish layman with a long career in finance economics to the number two position in the Secretariat for the Economy.

Maximino Caballero Ledo, 60, is from Merida, Spain, but has lived in the United States since 2007, where he is vice president of international finance at Baxter Healthcare, Inc., a medical products company.

As secretary general, Caballero joins prefect Fr. Juan Antonio Guerrero, SJ, who has led the Vatican's economy office since January.  

Guerrero and Caballero are childhood friends who grew up in the same city in Spain. Caballero told Vatican News Aug. 4 they were close friends through university and have remained in contact.

Caballero will start as secretary general in mid-August, according to Vatican News. He has degrees in economics and business administration, and has worked for businesses in Spain and the United States in positions of international finance.

"When Father Guerrero called me and proposed this project to me, a long list of reasons why I could not accept passed through my head," Caballero told Vatican News.

He said his two adult children will remain in the United States, where they are working, and his wife of 31 years will move to Rome with him.

"My wife, Immaculada, and I, knew from the first moment that God's call comes in many different ways, and this was ours. Therefore, there was only one response: 'fiat,'" he said.

Caballero said the laity "have a very important task to carry out within the Church. We are all members of the same body and we all have our mission."

"My experience and my work are my 'talents,' and I hope that with them I can do my part to collaborate in the economic transparence of the Holy See," he stated.

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