Alfred Xuereb

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The Reverend Monsignor
Alfred Xuereb
Prelate Secretary of the Secretariat for the Economy
Alfred Xuereb.jpg
Appointed 3 March 2014
Predecessor none, new post
Ordination 26 May 1984
Personal details
Born (1958-10-14) 14 October 1958 (age 58)
Victoria, Gozo, Malta
Nationality Maltese
Denomination Roman Catholic
Residence Vatican City
Alma mater Pontifical Theological Faculty Teresianum

Alfred Xuereb (born 14 October 1958 in Victoria on the Maltese island of Gozo) is an Honorary Prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, and first private secretary of Pope Francis. Before being selected, he had served, next to the private secretary Georg Gänswein, as second private secretary of Pope Benedict XVI.[1]


Xuereb studied philosophy and Roman Catholic theology in Malta and was ordained a priest in 1984. He then studied at the Pontifical Theological Faculty Teresianum where he earned a PhD in Theology, specialising in Spirituality, from the Pontifical Institute "Teresianum" with a thesis on “The Easter mystery in Christian Life”.

He returned to pastoral service to Malta, but was re-appointed in 1991 as secretary to the rector of the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. From 1995 he worked at the Secretariat of State in the Roman Curia and took part in two short missions of the Apostolic Nunciature of Ottawa in Canada.

Since 2000 he served in the Prefecture of the Papal Household. Pope John Paul II awarded him on 9 September 2003 the Papal title of Honorary Prelate.[2]

In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Xuereb as successor to secretary Mieczysław Mokrzycki as his second private secretary.[3] He accompanied the Pope on his trips. After the election of Pope Francis in 2013, Xuereb became his first private secretary.[4] Though Xuereb was the official first secretary it was assumed that the real private secretary of the pope was Fabián Pedacchio, who was at that point officially the second secretary.[5]

On 28 November 2013 Pope Francis appointed him a delegate for the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR) and for the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organisation of the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See, in order to exercise a supervisory role and to inform the Pope.[6]

On 3 March 2014, Pope Francis appointed him the first Prelate Secretary of the Secretariat for the Economy, a new department of the Roman Curia.[7]

Personal life[edit]

During a meeting with trainee clergy and novices in July 2013, Pope Francis referred with admiration to the fact that Xuareb uses a bicycle for transportation.[8]


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Georg Gänswein
Personal Papal Secretary
March 18, 2013 – March 2, 2014
Succeeded by
Fabián Pedacchio