Pope Francis Appoints 1st Lay Man as Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy after Resignation of Fr Juan Alves at the Vatican

Father Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves has resigned, “for personal reasons”, from the post of Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy. 

After three years as Prefect, the Spanish Jesuit resigns for health reasons. Pope Francis has appointed Maximino Caballero Ledo, the 1st lay man, for this position as Secretary in his place. 

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation which takes effect on Thursday 1 December. Maximino Caballero Ledo, the current Secretary of the Secretariat, is connected to Guerrero by a long friendship. 

The Holy See Press Office released a statement that says the Pope thanked Father Guerrero warmly "for the dedication shown in his service to the Holy See". Father Guerrero, it added, "managed to put the economy in order, it was hard and demanding work that bore much fruit. The Holy Father assures him of His prayers".

To coincide with the announcement, Father Guerrero sent a letter to the employees and collaborators of the Secretariat for the Economy, in which he explains the reasons for his decision: “You are aware,” he writes, “that I have undergone surgery during the course of this year, and as a result of this I am undergoing medical treatment that has side effects that make it particularly difficult for me to carry out a task as demanding as the one I am entrusted with, and that requires a greater physical efficiency and mental concentration than what I have at this time”.

In the letter, Guerrero retraces his journey over the past three years, explaining that he leaves “with sadness, but also with immense gratitude to the Lord, to the Holy Father and all of you, and with the satisfaction that together we have contributed to the economic reform called for” by Pope Francis. “Together, and in collaboration with other curial institutions,” writes the outgoing Prefect of the SpE, “we have helped the Holy Father to take important steps in the economic organization of the Roman Curia, in transparency, upholding the credibility of the Holy See concerning economic matters. We have helped make clearer rules, but there are still many things in the pipeline: the centralisation of investments, the further regulation and simplification of procurement processes in order to make them more transparent and streamlined; the implementation of a Directorate for Human Resources, which is a new challenge to improve the working conditions and atmosphere within the Holy See; and the planning of greater use of computerised procedures”.

Edited from Vatican News