Alfred Xuereb

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The Most Reverend

Alfred Xuereb
Apostolic Nuncio to South Korea
Apostolic Nuncio to Mongolia
Alfred Xuereb.jpg
ChurchCatholic Church
Appointed26 February 2018
PredecessorOsvaldo Padilla
Other postsTitular Archbishop of Amantea (2018-)
Ordination26 May 1984
by Nikol Joseph Cauchi
Consecration19 March 2018
by Pope Francis
Personal details
Birth nameAlfred Xuereb
Born (1958-10-14) 14 October 1958 (age 60)
Victoria, Gozo, Malta
Previous postPrelate Secretary of the Secretariat for the Economy (2014-18)
Alma materPontifical Theological Faculty Teresianum
MottoUt Unum sint[1]
Coat of armsAlfred Xuereb's coat of arms

Alfred Xuereb (born 14 October 1958 in Victoria on the Maltese island of Gozo) is a Roman Catholic Church archbishop who is the Apostolic Nuncio to both South Korea and Mongolia. Xuereb served as 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.


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][4] He accompanied the Pope on his trips. After the election of Pope Francis in 2013, Xuereb became his first private secretary.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7]

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.[8]

On 26 February 2018 Pope Francis appointed Xuereb an archbishop and named him apostolic nuncio for both South Korea and Mongolia.[9] Xuereb was consecrated bishop on 19 March 2018 in St. Peter's Basilica by Pope Francis.[10][11]

Speaking on the 2018 Trump-Kim summit Xuereb said that the Korean people and the local Church had been anxiously awaiting “these truly historic events.” He described the summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as “marking an important page at the beginning of a long and arduous road”[12]

Personal life[edit]

During a meeting with trainee clergy and novices in July 2013, Pope Francis referred with admiration to the fact that Xuereb uses a bicycle for transportation.[13]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Annuario Pontificio per l’anno 2008, Città del Vaticano, p. 2370.
  3. ^ "Mgr Alfred Xuereb appointed as secretary to Pope Francis". Gozo News. March 18, 2013.
  4. ^ "Gozitan to become Pope's personal secretary". Times of Malta. March 18, 2013.
  5. ^ "Gozitan Mgr Alfred Xuereb appointed Pope's official secretary". Malta Today. March 18, 2013.
  6. ^ "Who advises the Pope?". Archived from the original on 24 December 2017. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  7. ^ "The Pope Appoints Msgr.Xuereb as his Delegate in Two Commissions". Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  8. ^ Tornielli, Andrea (3 March 2014). "Francis appoints Fr. Xuereb as secretary general of the Vatican's new economy secretariat". Vatican Insider. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  9. ^ "Rinunce e nomine, 26.02.2018" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 26 February 2018. Retrieved 6 May 2019. Il Santo Padre ha nominato Nunzio Apostolico in Corea del Sud e in Mongolia il Mons. Alfred Xuereb
  10. ^
  11. ^ Junno Arocho Esteves (1 March 2018). "Pope names two Vatican officials as apostolic nuncios". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  12. ^ [2]
  13. ^ "Vaticano - "Mi fa male vedere un prete con un'auto ultimo modello"". Retrieved 9 May 2017.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Georg Gänswein
Personal Papal Secretary
March 18, 2013 – March 2, 2014
Succeeded by
Fabián Pedacchio