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  • » 06/24/2016, 13.47


    Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

    On the same day, the Holy See accepts the resignation of Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch, and appoints the former custodian of the Holy Land as apostolic administrator of the patriarchate. Facing new challenges, addressing the geopolitical and socio-religious changes taking place in the Middle East.


    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The former custodian of the Holy Land, Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, was today appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem of the Latins which is now vacant. In fact today, Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of his beatitude Fouad Twal for reasons of age.

    Fr. Pizzaballa, 51 has worked in the Holy Land since 1999, was elected Custodian in May 2004. On 22 March 2010 he was re-elected. In 2013 he was postulated for another three years. His term ended in April 2016. With a fine knowledge of Jewish culture, he also taught Biblical Hebrew at the Franciscan Faculty of Biblical and Archaeological Sciences in Jerusalem and maintains relations with many Israeli Jewish personalities.

    Sobhy Makhoul, prosecutor of the Maronite Church in Jerusalem told AsiaNews that the Holy See was faced with the problem of the change of the Churches’ two most important personalities for the Church of the Holy Land: the Custodian and Patriarch. "The Holy See’s choice is smart and the right one".

    "It 's also a wise choice to respond to the need to reorganize and restructure the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, as a result of geopolitical and socio-religious changes that are transforming and inverting the Christian presence", where the faithful are growing thanks to immigration from Africa and Asia, where the presence of local Christians is shrinking more and more.

    "Much of the Patriarchate territory - continues Makhoul - includes Jordan, Israel, Palestine and Cyprus. And the territory of the Custody they includes Lebanon, Syria and Egypt. The former Custodian is the right person: twenty years of experience in the East, managerial skills, intelligence and diligence are the characteristics of the new Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa".

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    See also

    20/12/2016 12:48:00 HOLY LAND
    Msgr. Pizzaballa: At Christmas the faithful of Asia and Russia revive pilgrimages to the Holy Land

    The Apostolic Administrator refers to a "substantial increase" of the faithful visiting the holy places. Chinese and Indonesian "want to pray" and deal "with the local community." Pilgrimages are safe. To heal the wounds in the Middle East serves justice accompanied by mercy. Encounter with a people and a wounded community the reasons for renewed hope.


    08/07/2016 13:56:00 HOLY LAND
    Msgr. Pizzaballa: Only mercy will save the Middle East from fundamentalism

    The new Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem recounts the challenges of his mission. From the relationship with the Israeli leadership to the drift towards fundamentalism and the need to respond with "encounter and dialogue”. What’s more, the pastoral care of migrants and reception of refugees fleeing the war. The inability to forgive, is the "main problem" in the Middle East.


    No distinction is possible between Hamas and the Palestinians, says the Custodian of the Holy Land
    In an interview with AsiaNews, Father Pizzaballa says that despite claims that it does not want to adversely affect the population, Israel's decision to withhold payments to PNA in the wake of the victory by Hamas will create further difficulties for the Palestinians. In Bethlehem people expect hard times ahead and have little faith in fellow Arab countries.

    11/04/2006 HOLY LAND
    Mgr Sabbah calls on Israelis and Palestinians to stop hatred
    In his Easter message, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem calls on the leaders of the two peoples to transform "in terms of life and peace the relations between the two peoples in this Holy Land."

    13/07/2010 HOLY LAND
    More pilgrimages to the Holy Land “due to pilgrims from Asia,” says Fr Pizzaballa
    The first half of 2010 sets a new record. More than a million pilgrims or 39 per cent more than a year before come to the Holy Land. For the Custodian of the Holy land, the increase strengthens local Christian communities.

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