Ordination of Mons. Pizzaballa, for twelve years Custos of the Holy Land.
On June 24, he was appointed ‘Titular Archbishop of Verbe and Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem’ by Pope Francis.
“I want to be a bishop for all: first and foremost, for those who are entrusted to me, but also for those who share the love and concern for the Middle East; for Jews and Muslims, for the poorest, for the entire Church.”
These were Monsignor Pierbattista Pizzaballa’s words on September 10, at the conclusion of the solemn liturgy in the Cathedral of Bergamo, Italy, in which he was ordained archbishop.
On June 24, Father Pizzaballa, for twelve years Custos of the Holy Land, was appointed ‘Titular Archbishop of Verbe and Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem’ by Pope Francis.
The Mass was presided over by Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, and concelebrated, among others, by the Patriarch Emeritus Monsignor Fouad Twal and by Mons. Francesco Beschi, Bishop of Bergamo. Thirty bishops gathered for the occasion, in addition to the apostolic nuncios to the East, who traveled from Italy, Israel and Palestine, but also from Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and Bahrain.
Many priests and religious also attended, including many Franciscans of the Custody of the Holy Land led by the current Custos Fr. Francesco Patton and by the Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, Fr. Michael Perry. One of the Latin Patriarchate delegation was present as well, represented by Mons. William Shomali and Mons. Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo.
Many representatives of the churches of the Holy Land were also present: Monsignor Bacouni, Melkite Archbishop of Haifa; Monsignor Moussa el-Hage, on behalf of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, Monsignor Nektorius, representative of the greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, which donated the new Archbishop a pectoral cross as a sign of many years of friendship between the former Custos and the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III.
The Gospel was proclaimed in Italian and Arabic.
In his homily, Cardinal Sandri made reference to the presence of Monsignor Pizzaballa in the Holy Land.
“In the Holy Land where you, Father Pierbattista, lived and served for 26 years, the Word made flesh gave us the desire of God and made us aware of the salvation for humanity; He who is the Father’s Word fulfilled the Revelation, .
As in the Psalm, we also say: .”
”Sufficit tibi gratia mea” – “My grace is sufficient for you.” It is the motto chosen by Bishop Pizzaballa from the letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians.
In the end, he promised a personal commitment to the service to inspire ‘peace that is not suppression of differences’ or ‘non-aggression pact’, but ‘acceptance of others’, ‘willingness to listen and to dialogue’, so that ‘diversity becomes opportunity for fellowship’.
”I shall therefore endeavor to persevere, so that, thanks to my service, the peace of Jerusalem could become a reality in that land for the whole Church and for mankind. Thank you and I will see all of you in Jerusalem!”