JERUSALEM — Pope Francis has appointed two new bishops to the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
The pope named as auxiliary bishops Father Jamal Khader Daibes, patriarchal vicar in Jordan, and Father Rafic Nahra, patriarchal vicar for Israel in Nazareth; they will continue serving their respective missions.
“Father Jamal and Father Rafic, both born and raised here in the East, have exercised priestly ministry for many years,” Latin Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa said March 11.
He thanked the two men for taking on the responsibilities as bishops, adding, “The work of a bishop is not easy, especially in these times.”
Nahra was born in 1959 to a Lebanese family in Ismailia, Egypt, and he grew up in Lebanon. He began his ecclesiastical studies at the French seminary in Rome in 1987 after having completed his doctorate in engineering and working as an engineer for two years. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Paris in 1992.
In 2014, Nahra was appointed parish priest of the Hebrew-speaking Catholic Community of Jerusalem, and in 2017 Pizzaballa appointed him patriarchal vicar of the Vicariate of St. James for Hebrew-speaking Catholics. In 2018 the archbishop made him patriarchal vicar for migrants and asylum-seekers. Nahra was appointed patriarchal vicar for Israel in 2021.
Nahra said he entered his new role with a sense of “big responsibility,” especially for the Christians in Israel.
Daibes was born in the Palestinian village of Zababdeh in 1975 and was ordained a priest in 1988. He has served in numerous roles in the Latin Patriarchate, including rector of the Latin Patriarchal Seminary in Beit Jala and director of the Latin Patriarchate schools in Palestine. He was appointed patriarchal vicar to Jordan last year.
He said he was taking on his new role with “great joy, but with a sense of responsibility” to the church and all its faithful.