In a surprise move, Pope Francis has accepted the early resignation of a prominent Melkite Catholic archbishop in Israel.
The Vatican announced on January 27 that the Pontiff had accepted the
resignation of Archbishop Elias Chacour of Akka, in northern Israel.
archbishop, a noted advocate of non-violence and reconciliation between
Israelis and Palestinians, has twice been nominated for the Nobel Peace
A native Palestinian himself, he was also the first Israeli
citizen to be appointed a Catholic bishop.
The announcement of Archbishop Chacour’s resignation was surprising
because it came several months before his 75th birthday.
offered no explanation for the unusual move.
Archbishop Moussa El Hage, who heads the Maronite Archeparchy of
Haifa — located in the same region of northern Israel — was named by the
Pontiff to serve as apostolic administrator of the Melkite archdiocese
until a replacement for Archbishop Chacour is named.