Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Religion | IN BRIEF

Auxiliary Bishop Named for Hebrew Speakers

August 16, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

VATICAN CITY — Pope John Paul II has created the new post of auxiliary bishop for Hebrew-speaking Catholics in the Jerusalem Patriarchate and named an Algerian-born Benedictine abbot to fill it.

Jean-Baptiste Gourion, 68, will provide pastoral care for the growing number of non-Palestinian Catholics now living in Israel. Immigrants since 1991 include an estimated 150,000 from the former Soviet bloc, most of them Orthodox, but also about 20,000 Catholics from the Philippines and 10,000 from India and Africa.

Vatican sources called the naming of an auxiliary -- "with special powers" -- to Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah a significant move. They said it has been under consideration at least a year while church officials studied the implications for the Patriarchate and for relations with the Jewish state.

Gourion has spent more than a quarter century in Israel and for more than a decade served as Sabbah's episcopal vicar for the Hebrew-speaking community.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|