'Advance man' for papal trips announces retirement
January 04, 2016
Alberto Gasbarri, who has acted as “advance man” for papal trips for more than a decade, has announced his plan to retire he approaches his 70th birthday.
Gasbarri, an Italian layman, was appointed in 2005 to coordinate the details of papal trips abroad. Since that time he has spent several months each year abroad, working with political leaders, diplomats, organizers, and security officials in the countries the Pope plans to visit.
Gasbarri, who has been constantly seen at the Pope’s side during those trips, will make his final trip with Pope Francis in February, when the Pontiff visits Mexico. He will be replaced by Msgr. Mauricio Rueda Beltz, a Colombian veteran of the Vatican diplomatic corps.
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