In a statement on September 11, 2012, the Assembly Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land welcomed the appointment of Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto as Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine and the Apostolic Nuncio in Israel and Cyprus.

Your Excellency,

The Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, during a plenary session in Bethlehem express our heartfelt congratulations on your appointment as Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine and the Apostolic Nuncio in Israel and Cyprus. You come to a country you already know, having previously lived in Israel and Jordan, and for having skillfully served the Church with dedication and passion.

Since its foundation, our Assembly has for its purpose, among others to “deepen the communion between the Churches and support joint initiatives.” “Communion and Witness” are the two strengths that have guided the preparation and reflections of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East.  This you will find in the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation that the Holy Father will give us during his pastoral visit to Lebanon on September 14 – 16, 2012.

Our way of being Church and living as the Church has changed since the establishment of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land and of the Council of Catholic Patriarchs, and since the local Diocesan Synod in 2000.  We are aware that the communion among us is a Christian witness for the good of our people who always want to be more sincere, more trustworthy and more fruitful.

We ask you, Excellency, to willingly support your brother Bishops in this arduous path and encourage collaboration among the different Catholic Churches. Help us to find again the face of the Apostolic Church of our ancestors, because: “The community of believers was of one heart and mind…”(Acts 4:32).

Ahlan wa sahlan – We await your arrival with open arms. Mabrouk – That your service among us be a blessing for our whole Church.


+Fouad TWAL
Patriarch of Jerusalem for Latins
President, A.C.O.H.L.

+Giorgio LINGUA
Apostolic Nuncio for Jordan

Rt Rev. Waldemar S. SOMMERTAG
Chargé d’Affaires of the Apostolic Nunciature for Israel

+Michel SABBAH
Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Emeritus

Melkite Catholic Archbishop of Akka
Vice president, A.C.O.H.L.

+Yaser Al-AYYASH
Melkite Catholic Archbishop of Petra and Philadelphia (Amman)

+Mussa El-HAGE
Maronite Archbishop of Haifa and the Holy Land
Maronite Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem

+Joseph SOUEIF
Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus

Melkite Catholic Archbishop of Akka Emeritus

+Gregoire Pierre MELKI
Syrian Catholic Exarch of Jerusalem

+Joseph Jules ZEREY
Melkite Patriarchal Vicar of Jerusalem

+Maroun LAHHAM
Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan

+Giacinto-Boulos MARCUZZO
Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Israel

+William SHOMALI
Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine

+Kamal-Hanna BATHISH
Latin Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus

Latin Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus

Msgr. Joseph KELEKIAN
Armenian Catholic Exarch of Jerusalem

Very Rev. Pierbattista PIZZABALLA, O.F.M.
Custos of theHoly Land

Rev. David NEUHAUS, S.J.
Patriarchal Vicar for Hebrew speaking Vicariate

Rev. Evencio HERRERA DIAZ, O.F.M.
Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Cyprus

Rev. Raymond MOUSSALLI
Patriarchal Vicar in Jordan for Chaldeans

Rev. Pietro FELET, scj
Secretary general

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