Vicars promoted to Auxiliary Bishops in the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

JERUSALEM — Pope Francis has appointed two new bishops to the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

The pope has appointed as auxiliary bishops Father Jamal Khader Daibes, Patriarchal Vicar in Jordan, and Father Rafic Nahra, Patriarchal Vicar for Israel in Nazareth; they will continue to serve their respective missions.

“Father Jamal and Father Rafic, both born and raised here in the East, exercised priestly ministry for many years,” Latin Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa said March 11.

He thanked the two men for taking on the responsibilities of bishops, adding, “The job of a bishop is not easy, especially in these times.”

Nahra was born in 1959 to a Lebanese family in Ismailia, Egypt, and grew up in Lebanon. He began his ecclesiastical studies at the French seminary in Rome in 1987 after obtaining his doctorate in engineering and working as an engineer for two years. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Paris in 1992.

In 2014, Nahra was appointed pastor of the Hebrew-speaking Catholic community in Jerusalem, and in 2017 Pizzaballa appointed him Patriarchal Vicar of the Vicariate of Santiago for Hebrew-speaking Catholics. In 2018, the Archbishop appointed him Patriarchal Vicar for Migrants and Asylum Seekers. Nahra was appointed Patriarchal Vicar for Israel in 2021.

Nahra said he entered his new role with a sense of “great responsibility,” especially for Christians in Israel.

Daibes was born in the Palestinian village of Zababdeh in 1975 and was ordained a priest in 1988. He has held many positions within the Latin Patriarchate, including rector of the Latin Patriarchal Seminary of Beit Jala and director of Latin Patriarchate schools in Palestine. He was appointed Patriarchal Vicar of Jordan last year.

He said he took on his new role with “great joy, but with a sense of responsibility” to the church and all its congregants.

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