Latin Patriarchate

A patriarchate is the office or jurisdiction of a patriarch. A patriarch is one of the eleven highest-ranking bishops of in the Catholic Church including the Pope, the six “patriarchs of the east”, and the bishops of Lisbon, Venice, Jerusalem, and the East Indies.

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem is the title given to the Latin Rite Roman Catholic Archbishop of Jerusalem. The Archdiocese of Jerusalem has jurisdiction for all Latin Rite Catholics in Israel and Palestine. In addition, the Eastern Catholic Churches of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church and Maronite Catholic Church have established dioceses for their faithful in the territories.

The Patriarchate of Jerusalem is currently the only Eastern patriarchal title to be assigned to a Latin Rite bishop. The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem does not head a sui iuris particular church but is rather a bishop whose see has as a permanent privilege the honorific title of patriarch, similar to the Patriarchs of Venice, Lisbon, and the East Indies. The title Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem was restored as a residential office in 1847 for Bishop Joseph Valerga.

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem is now the diocesan bishop of Latin Catholics in the Holy Land, including Jordan and Cyprus. The incumbent Patriarch is His Beatitude Fouad Twal, he is preceded by His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, Patriarch Emeritus, the first Palestinian to hold the post. The residence of the Patriarch is in the Old City of Jerusalem, while the seminary, which is responsible for the liturgical education, was moved to Beit Jala, a town 10 km south of Jerusalem, in 1936.

Today there are about 75,000 Catholic faithful within the patriarchate, which includes Israel and the Palestinian territories as well as Jordan and Cyprus. The Patriarch of Jerusalem is also, by virtue of his office, the Grand Prior of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, the president of the assembly of Catholic bishops of the Holy Land, and the president of the Latin-rite bishops’ conference of the Arabic region.


Grand Magisterium – Vatican

Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

The Holy See

Custodia Terrae Sanctae

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