MembersAn Italian to Lead the Catholic Church

After two Palestinian leaders an Italian is once again heading up the Catholic Church in the Holy Land.

By Israel Today Staff |
PIERBATTISTA PIZZABALLA

Pierbattista Pizzaballa is now the highest ranking representative of the Vatican in Jerusalem. The 51-year-old Pizzaballa took over from Palestinian Patriarch Fouad Twal (75).

 

Pope Francis has yet to bestow the title of “Patriarch” on Pizzaballa, instead labeling him “Apostolic Administrator.” After 25 years of service in various capacities in Jerusalem, Pizzaballa is well acquainted with the conflict-ridden situation in this region.

 

Church leaders from a Palestinian background are usually excessively critical and prejudiced against Israel. For this reason, Israelis are hopeful that the new Catholic leader will exhibit a different attitude. In an interview with the Catholic Center for Study and Media, Pizzaballa commented shortly after assuming his new position: “I know very well that peace between Israel and Palestine, in Iraq, and in Syria seems...

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