The Salesian, the new “number two” for the Integral Human Development Service, is also dealing with the post-pandemic as a delegate of the Covid-19 Commission
VATICAN CITY. Pope Francis appoints the first female secretary of a Vatican dicastery. Sister Alessandra Smerilli from today holds the highest office ever reached by a female figure in the hierarchy of the Roman Curia. The Pontiff has chosen her as interim “number two” to the body for the Integral Human Development Service and delegate of the Covid-19 Commission, which deals with post-pandemic projects globally. The nun replaces two men, Monsignor Bruno Marie Duffé and Father Augusto Zampini, both of whom have returned to the diocese.
Forty-six years old, originally from Vasto (Chieti), economist, full professor of Political Economy at the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences Auxilium – behind a PhD in Political Economy at the La Sapienza University of Rome and one in Economics at the School of Economics of the University of East Anglia in Norwich – Smerilli is already a councilor of the Vatican State and consultant of the Synod of Bishops.
She says “I am grateful to the Holy Father for the demanding task he has called me to assume and I pray the Lord to help me honor this call in a spirit of obedience to the Church; with the humility, passion, creativity and the ability to listen that it requires ». Among the priorities: “The integral promotion of the person and the care of creation”, through the development of those principles “of the social doctrine of the Church to which the Pope calls us for the construction of a better world”.