VATICAN — Pope Francis appointed Father Fernando Vérgez Alzaga, a member of the Legionaries of Christ, to be the new secretary general of the Governorate of Vatican city state.
The position is the Vatican’s No. 2 administrator, and it was vacated last Saturday, Aug. 24, when Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca was transferred to the Apostolic Signatura.
Father Vérgez will serve under the president of the Vatican City governorate, Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello.
Vérgez was previously the director of the Vatican’s papal telecommunications office for five years prior to his new appointment.
He has not been appointed as a titular bishop, which is customary for the position, possibly signaling a new policy of Pope Francis.
Born in Salamanca in 1945, Father Vérgez made perpetual profession with the Legionaries of Christ in 1965 and was ordained a priest in 1969. He studied philosophy and theology at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University and obtained a diploma from the School of Archives at the Vatican’s Secret Archives.
Father Vérgez began working for the Vatican more than 40 years ago, in 1972, at the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
He was then transferred to the Pontifical Council for the Laity in 1984, before becoming the head of the Holy See’s Internet office 10 years later. He served there until becoming head of the telecommunications office in 2008.