Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa OFM appointed Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem

The Holy Father has appointed as Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, OFM, until now apostolic administrator sede vacante of the same circumscription, transferring him from the titular see of Verbe.

His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa was born on 21 April 1965 in Cologno al Serio, in the diocese and province of Bergamo. He entered the minor seminary of the Franciscan province of Cristo Re, in Bologna, in September 1976, and on 5 September 1984 he began his noviciate in the convent of La Verna. He gave his provisional vows in La Verna on 7 September 1985 and his perpetual vows in Bologna on 14 October 1989. After completing the first cycle of philosophical and theological studies, he was awarded a bachelor’s degree in theology from the Pontifical Antonianum Athenaeum of Rome. On 27 January 1990 he was ordained a deacon and on 15 September he received priestly ordination in the Cathedral of Bologna from His Eminence Cardinal Giacomo Biffi.

Upon arriving at the Custody of the Holy Land on 7 October 1990, he completed his specialist studies at the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum of Jerusalem in 1993. He was subsequently professor of Biblical Hebrew at the Franciscan Faculty of Biblical and Archaeological Sciences of Jerusalem.

He began his service in the Custody of the Holy Land on 2 July 1999. On 9 May 2001 he was appointed as Guardian of the Convent of Saints Simeon and Anna in Jerusalem. He was occupied in the pastoral care of Catholic faithful of Hebrew expression, and was appointed patriarchal vicar from 2005 to 2008.

The Definitor General of the Order of Friars Minor elected him as Custos of the Holy Land and guardian of Mount Zion in May 2004, an office he held until April 2016.

On 24 June 2016 the Holy Father Francis appointed him as titular archbishop of Verbe and apostolic administrator sede vacante of the patriarchal diocese of Jerusalem of the Latins. On 10 September he was received episcopal consecration in the Cathedral of Bergamo by Cardinal Leonardo Sandri.

He is a member of the Congregation for Oriental Churches.