The new acting Latin Patriarch says his main task will be to promote dialogue among Christians in the Holy Land — and between Christians and other religious groups.
Fr Pierbattista Pizzaballa took office on Wednesday as the apostolic
administrator of the Latin Patriarchate, the temporary chief clergyman
to the local Catholic population.
The Italian-born Fr Pizzaballa, a Franciscan priest, replaces Fr
Fouad Twal, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 75.
patriarch has traditionally been a native Arabic speaker, helping serve
the local population.
Fr Pizzaballa, a 51-year-old Italian, says there’s
been no change in policy and he’d hold the position until a “proper and
better candidate” was selected.
For the past 12 years, Fr Pizzaballa has headed the body responsible for protecting Church holy sites in the Middle East.