ISRAEL – Fr Pizzaballa appointed new  Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem


Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem who reached the age limit of 75 last October has resigned. Pope Francis has accepted Twal’s resignation and appointed former Custos of the Holy Land, Franciscan Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa to replace him. Fr. Pizzaballa, 51, will be ordained as a bishop on Sept. 10 in Bergamo, Italy.

Pierbattista Pizzaballa was born in Cologno al Serio, Italy, in 1965. He took religious vows in 1989 and was ordained a priest in 1990. He holds a bachelors degree in theology from the Pontifical Antonianum University, Rome, and completed his studies in the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum of Jerusalem.

On completing his studies, Fr Pizzaballa was appointed professor of biblical Hebrew at the Franciscan Faculty of Biblical and Archaeological Sciences of Jerusalem. He began his service in the Custody of the Holy Land in 1999 and was appointed as Guardian of the Convent of Sts. Simeon and Anna in Jersualem in 2011.

After serving as patriarchal vicar from 2003 to 2008, the General Definitorium appointed   Fr Pizzaballa as Custos of the Holy Land and Guardian of Mount Zion in 2004. He remained in the role until April this year.

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem has 293,053 Catholics who are served by 464 priests, 9 permanent deacons  and 1,612 religious.

ACN Malta