HomeMiddle EastPope appoints Lebanese priests to lead Eastern Churches dioceses

Pope appoints Lebanese priests to lead Eastern Churches dioceses

Fri, 2022-05-13 19:29

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis appointed three Lebanese Catholic priests to lead some of the most prominent dioceses in the Eastern Catholic Churches, in a move seen by Vatican observers as a “further sign of attention toward that country’s clergy and faithful.”
The leader of the Catholic Church granted his assent to the election of Rev. Joseph Abdel-Jalil Chami as archbishop of Hassake-Nisibi, Syria.
Rev. Elie Joseph Warde was appointed bishop of the Syrian Catholic Eparchy of Cairo and patriarchal vicar for Sudan and South Sudan, and Rev. Jules Boutros was posted to the position of bishop of the Syrian Patriarchal Curia of Antioch.
All the new bishops were born in Lebanon, where they completed all their theological studies, a communique issued by the Vatican Press Office said.
The Catholic Church in Lebanon is considered the most important and influential in the Middle East, representing today nearly 50 percent of the Christian population.
“This clearly represents a further sign of attention by Pope Francis toward the clergy and the faithful who live in Lebanon, an Arab country where the Catholic presence has historically been remarkable, and the cohabitation between different religions is fruitful,” Fr. Giuseppe Ciutti, an Italian priest who spent time in Iraq, told Arab News.
He added that the pontiff “has always expressed his closeness and appreciation for Lebanese Christians.”
The pope’s planned trip to Lebanon next month was postponed as the 85-year-old Francis experienced difficulty walking due to a flare-up of pain in his right knee, in addition to a long-term case of sciatica, which also causes pain in the legs.
The trip had been announced by the Lebanese government for June 12-12. The Vatican never officially confirmed the trip, but the pope referred to plans relating to it several times in recent interviews. It is now likely to take place in the autumn.

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