Vatican City, Sep 16, 2020 / 05:10 am
Pope Francis appointed a new secretary general of the Synod of Bishops Wednesday.
The Holy See press office said Sept. 16 that the pope had named Maltese Bishop Mario Grech to the post after accepting the resignation a day earlier of Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, who had served as secretary general since 2013.
Grech, the emeritus bishop of Gozo, was appointed pro-secretary general of the Synod of Bishops on Oct. 2, 2019, serving alongside Baldisseri.
The Italian cardinal said at the time of the appointment that Grech would assume the full position of secretary general when his own mandate expired.
One of Grech’s main tasks will be preparing for the forthcoming synod on synodality, scheduled for Oct. 2022. He took part in last year’s Amazon synod.
Baldisseri, who turns 80 on Sept. 29, has been secretary general of the Synod of Bishops since September 2013. In that role, he has led the two synods on the family in 2014 and 2015, the youth synod in October 2018, and the Amazon synod in October 2019.
Born in Qala, Malta, Grech was ordained a priest in 1984 at the age of 27, for the Diocese of Gozo.
He was one of two authors of the Maltese bishops’ controversial pastoral guidelines on Amoris laetitia, which stated that divorced and remarried Catholics, in certain cases and after “honest discernment,” could receive Communion.