Bishops extend warm welcome to the new Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem

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Archbishop Patrick Kelly of Liverpool and Bishop William Kenney, Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham have extended a warm welcome to the new Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.

His Beatitude Fouad Twal was installed in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on Saturday, June 21 succeeding Archbishop Michel Sabbah.

Archbishop Patrick Kelly, who leads the Co-ordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church in the Holy Land, assured Mgr Twal of his prayerful support:

“My prayers are with him and all those who share in this most important moment in his life at the service of the Lord, the Lord’s land, and all the Lord’s people. “

Bishop William Kenney drew reference to Mgr Twal’s diplomatic experience in his words of welcome:

“I look forward to cooperating with Mgr Twal who brings a depth of diplomatic and Church experience to the complex Church and political reality of the region”

In a homily given at his first Mass as the new Latin Patriarch in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Mgr Twal looked to the future:

“Dear Brothers and Sisters, we run the risk of being crucified with and for Christ. But with Him and in Him, we are the radiant image of the Church of tomorrow. Christ is the head of our diocese of Jerusalem. Today, the hearts of all the Christians of the world are turned toward the empty tomb out of which came our salvation.”

Mgr Twal succeeds Archbishop Michel Sabbah who served as Latin Patriarch for over twenty years from Dec 1987 to June 2008. Archbishop Kelly and Bishop Kenney were both quick to praise the “outstanding” work of the outgoing Patriarch:

“May I take this opportunity to thank you for your outstanding service,” said Archbishop Kelly in a recent letter. “Not only to the followers of our Lord but to all the people of the Holy Land in their thirst for justice and peace. It has been an honour from time to time to accompany you in your unique service to the Lord and his land. May God reward you as he alone can.”

Bishop Kenney reflected on Archbishop Sabbah’s retirement:

“Over the years I have developed a deep friendship for Patriarch Michel Sabbah and have admired his commitment to the Christians of the Holy Land – he will be missed.”



Please find attached Patriarch Twal’s homily from his first Mass as Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem (23 June 2008) and also HB Michel Sabbah’s homily from a Mass of Thanksgiving at Gethsemane (21 June 2008).

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What is the Holy Land Co-ordination?

The Co-ordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church in the Holy Land was set up in Jerusalem in October 1998 at the request of the Holy See to support the Christian community through prayer, pilgrimage and advocacy. The Coordination consists of North American and European bishops’ conferences and is led by Archbishop Patrick Kelly with Bishop William Kenney CP as the moderator.