Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem and appointed Franciscan Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, former “custos” of the Holy Land, as the apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
The resignation and appointment were announced June 24 by the Vatican.
Patriarch Twal, who has served as head of the Latin Patriarchate since 2008, stepped down for reasons of age. In October 2015, he turned 75, the age at which bishops are required by canon law to turn in their resignations to the pope.
Father Pizzaballa served as “custos” of the Holy Land for 12 years. The “custos” is the provincial minister of the Franciscans in almost all of the Middle East, with jurisdiction over territory extending through Israel, the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Cyprus and Rhodes, and at their monastery in Cairo.
He will serve as apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem until the appointment of a new patriarch and he will be elevated to the dignity of archbishop, the Vatican said. His ordination as a bishop will be in September.
In a statement released shortly after the Vatican’s announcement, the Latin Patriarchate thanked Patriarch Twal and welcomed Father Pizzaballa “with best wishes in his new mission.”
“The entire diocese joins in prayer for the intentions of the patriarch emeritus and the new apostolic administrator,” the statement said.
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