Pope Appoints New Personal Physician

Professor Roberto Bernabei, Professor of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Catholic University of Sacred Heart in Rome.

Pope Personal Physician
Roberto Bernabei © Vatican Media

Pope Francis has appointed a new personal physician, the distinguished Professor Roberto Bernabei, professor of internal medicine and geriatrics of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome.

Professor Roberto Bernabei was born in Florence on 24 January 24, 1952. After graduating in medicine and surgery from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome in 1976, he specialized in internal medicine and cardiovascular diseases. He is a professor of internal medicine and geriatrics, director of the School of Specialisation in Geriatrics at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome, and director of the Department of Ageing, Neurological, Orthopaedic and Head and Neck Sciences at the Agostino Gemelli IRCSS University Hospital, Rome. Among other positions, he was also president of the Italian Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics and a member of the European Academy for Medicine of Ageing. He has published numerous scientific papers and contributions.

The Holy Father’s previous doctor, Fabrizio Soccorsi, died on January 9, 2021, of complications caused by Covid-19. He was 78. He had been admitted to Rome’s Gemelli hospital on 26 December 26 because of cancer but died because of “pulmonary complications” caused by the new coronavirus.

Pope Francis on January 26, attended the funeral of Dr. Soccorsi. The funeral Mass was celebrated by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. The ceremony was held at the Church of Santa Maria Regina della Famiglia in the Vatican’s Governorate.

Soccorsi had been the Pope’s personal physician since 2015. He had also served as an adviser for the Vatican’s health services department and a consultant-physician to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

During his years of medical service, he had been head physician of the hepatology ward in Rome’s San Camillo-Forlanini hospital and director of its department of liver diseases, the digestive system and nutrition; he also taught immunology at the municipal and regional medical schools.