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A layman appointed secretary general of the Belgian Bishops’ Conference

A layman appointed secretary general of the Belgian Bishops’ Conference

A layman was appointed Thursday, October 27 to the post of secretary general of the Belgian Bishops’ Conference, a first in this country. Bruno Spriet, 35, will succeed Bishop Herman Cosijns, former rector of the national basilica.

“The main task of the secretary general is to prepare and ensure the implementation of the decisions taken by the bishops in the Episcopal Conference”specifies a press release published by the Episcopal Conference of Belgium (CEB). In addition, “he participates in the meetings of the Conference”.

Taking office next March

Holder of degrees in theology and management, Bruno Spriet has worked since 2012 for Porticus, a philanthropic organization of the Catholic business family Brenninkmeijer, owner of the clothing store chain C & A. Between 2012 and 2017, he also President of an NGO working in the slums of Lima (Peru), with particular attention to women and children. He is married and the father of two children.

The face of Bruno Spriet is not unknown to the bishops: he was a member of the steering committee responsible for drafting the annual report of the Belgian Church in 2018. The new general secretary will take office on March 13, 2023.

It is not the only episcopal conference to have appointed a lay person to this position. In Germany, theologian Beate Gilles in January 2021 became the first woman – and the first non-clergy person – appointed general secretary of the Bishops’ Conference.

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