Pope Names Assistant Secretary As Coadjutor Archbishop In Ukraine

VATICAN CITY, Vatican -- Pope Benedict XVI has named his assistant personal secretary, Msgr. Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki, to be coadjutor archbishop of the Latin-rite Archdiocese of Lviv, Ukraine.

Coadjutor Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki

Msgr. Mokrzycki, 46, served as assistant personal secretary to Pope John Paul II from 1996 until the pope's death and returned to the Apostolic Palace as assistant personal secretary to Pope Benedict.

Italian newspapers reported that Maltese Msgr. Alfred Xuereb, an official in the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household, would move into the vacant secretary's role. The Vatican did not confirm the news.

In addition to running the pope's private office, his personal secretaries live in the papal household, concelebrate Mass with the pope each morning and eat their meals with him.

Both of the secretaries accompany the pope on foreign trips and at least one of them joins the pope for his annual summer vacation in the Italian Alps and at the papal summer villa in Castel Gandolfo.

Archbishop-designate Mokrzycki was born March 29, 1961, in Majdan Lukawiecki, Poland, and studied theology at the Catholic University of Lublin.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1987 by then-Archbishop Marian Jaworski, a close friend of Pope John Paul II and the Poland-based apostolic administrator of Lviv.

When the Latin-rite Archdiocese of Lviv was re-established in the newly independent Ukraine in 1991, then-Father Mokrzycki formally became a priest of the archdiocese.

He served as personal secretary to Cardinal Jaworski and will succeed him as archbishop of Lviv. Cardinal Jaworski will celebrate his 81st birthday in late August.

Source: CNS