Catholic Church in Israel
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|Catholic Church by country|
Worldwide distribution of Catholics
- 1 Overview
- 2 Local jurisdictions
- 3 Representatives of the Holy See
- 4 Supra-diocesan structures
- 5 Religious institutes
- 6 Lay organizations and institutes
- 7 Pilgrimage
- 8 Popes, saints, martyrs
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The Catholic Church originates in the area that is now Israel and the Palestinian Territories, tracing its origins to the local Church of Jerusalem described in the Acts of the Apostles, formed by the earliest followers of Jesus of Nazareth, who was born in Bethlehem, lived in the Galilee, and was crucified in Jerusalem. The Church of Jerusalem is considered the "mother church" of all Christianity.
Christianity's holiest shrine, the Church of the Resurrection, is located in Jerusalem, as are many of the sites associated with the life of Jesus and the earliest Christians.
There are approximately 200,000 Christians in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, representing about 1.5% of the total population. The largest Catholic Churches include 64,400 Greek Melkite Catholics, 32,200 Latin Catholics, and 11,270 Maronite Catholics.
Jurisdictions of seven of the Catholic Churches overlap in Israel: The Armenian, Chaldean, Greek Melkite, Latin (Roman), Maronite, and Syriac. The Coptic Catholic patriarchate also has representation here. In addition, the Franciscan Custos of the Holy Land, the Territorial Prelature of the Notre Dame Center of Jerusalem, and the Personal Prelature of Opus Dei have jurisdictional presence in Israel and the Palestinian territories. The Holy See is represented by the Apostolic Nuncio in Jaffa-Tel Aviv for Israel and the Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem for Palestine.
About 85% of the Catholics in Israel and the Palestinian Territories are Arabic-speaking. In addition to a handful of chaplaincies for expatriate clergy, pilgrims, and workers, there is also a vicariate within the Latin Patriarchate ministering to Hebrew Catholics, i.e., non-Arab converts to Catholicism of Hebrew descent, or Hebrew-speaking Catholics born to immigrant workers, often from the Philippines.
- Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
- Archeparchy of Jerusalem of the Melkites
- Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Akka
- Maronite Catholic Archeparchy of Haifa and the Holy Land
- Maronite Patriarchal Exarchate of Jerusalem, Jordan, and Palestine
- Armenian Patriarchal Exarchate of Jerusalem
- Syriac Patriarchal Exarchate of Jerusalem
- Chaldean Patriarchal Exarchate
- The Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land has care of most of the Christian holy sites and shrines under the jurisdiction of the Catholic Church.
- The Territorial Prelature of the Notre Dame Center of Jerusalem is considered an Ecumenical Holy Place and pilgrim hostel, under the direct jurisdiction of the Holy See, but in the care of the Legion of Christ since November 2004.
- The Personal prelature of Opus Dei has a small regional vicariate in Jerusalem. Its members are under the jurisdiction of the prelature, though no territory is.
Parishes and communities
There are currently 103 Catholic parishes in Israel and the Palestinian Territories:
- 43 Latin
- 43 Greek Melkite
- 14 Maronite
- 2 Syrian
- 1 Armenian
There are additionally 8 language chaplaincies and 7 ethnic pastoral centers within the Latin Patriarchate:
- 4 Hebrew-speaking
- 2 German-speaking
- 1 English-speaking
- 1 French-speaking
- 2 Filipino communities
- 2 Russian communities
- 1 African community
- 1 Polish community
- 1 Romanian community
Representatives of the Holy See
The Holy See is currently represented by an Apostolic Nuncio to Israel and an Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem of Palestine. At this time, the same person fulfills both offices, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto. He also serves as Nuncio to Cyprus.
In June 1762, a diplomatic relationship was established in Ottoman Syria, including the region of Palestine.
In March 1929, the diplomatic brief for British Palestine was attached to the Delegate to Cairo.
The Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land was established at the initiative of the Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem to foster unity within the Catholic Churches of the Holy Land, in 1992.
The regional episcopal conference for the Latin bishops is the Conference of the Latin Bishops of the Arab Regions (CELRA), which was established in 1967.
The Middle East Council of Churches represents 14 million Christians in the Middle East, covering 14 countries and including representatives from 27 churches or jurisdictions (3 Oriental Orthodox, 4 Eastern Orthodox, 7 Catholic, and 13 Protestant/Evangelical).
The Heads of Churches in Jerusalem is a gathering of the patriarchs and other ordinaries of 13 of the local Christian churches in Jerusalem, including Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Catholic, Latin Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches.
There are 1,764 members of religious orders and institutes of consecrated life in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
The oldest of these is the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, established as a province here in 1217.
There are 540 male religious, representing the following congregations:
- Benedictines Dormition Abbey
- Benedictines Olivetan
- Clerical Society of the Most Holy Trinity at Mirinae
- Congregation of Christian Brothers
- Discalced Carmelites
- Families of the Visitation
- Hospitaller Order of St. John of God
- Institute of the Incarnate Word
- Legionaries of Christ
- Little Brothers of Jesus
- Little Brothers of Jesus Caritas
- Little Family of the Annunciation
- Missionaries of Charity Contemplative
- Monks of Bethlehem
- Order of Friars Minor Capuchin
- Order of Preachers
- Order of the Servants of Mary
- Religious of Our Lady of Sion
- Sacred Heart Fathers of Betharram
- Salesians of Don Bosco
- Servants of Charity
- Sons of Divine Providence
- White Fathers
There are 1079 female religious, from the following congregations:
Other Institutes of Consecrated Life
There are 145 members of other institutes of consecrated life:
- Association Fraternelle Internationale
- Bose Monastic Community
- Chemin Neuf Community
- Comunione e Liberazione
- Community Cancao Nova
- Community Obra de Maria
- Community of Sant'Egidio
- Community of the Beatitudes
- Emmanuel Community
- Koinonia John the Baptist Community
- Neocatechumenal Way
- Regnum Christi
- Sermig Brotherhood of Hope
- Shalom Catholic Community
Lay organizations and institutes
Catholic scouting and youth ministry
- 2500 members in 16 troops of the Catholic Scout Association in Israel
- 2500 members in 12 troops of the Palestinian Catholic Scouts of Saint John the Baptist
- Young Catholic Students (Jeunesse Etudiante Catholic)
Lay ecclesial movements
- 135 members of the Neocatechumenal Way
- 16 members of Comunione e Liberazione
- members of the personal prelature of Opus Dei
- 9 charitable and humanitarian organizations
- 7 hospitals
- 7 centers for the disabled
- 6 orphanages
- 5 homes for the elderly
Military and hosptialler orders
Universities and educational institutes
- Studium Theologicum Jerosolymitanum, Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, founded 1866.
- École Biblique, Dominicans, founded 1920.
- Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, Pontifical University Antonianum, Franciscans, founded 1924.
- College of Ancient Near East Studies of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Jesuits, founded 1927.
- Latin Patriarchal Seminary of Jerusalem, Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, founded 1936.
- Tantur Ecumenical Institute, University of Notre Dame, founded 1972.
- Bethlehem University, Christian Brothers, founded 1973.
- German Institute of Biblical and Theological Studies, Dormition Abbey, Benedictines, founded 1973.
- Bat Kol Institute, Sisters of Sion, founded 1983
- Center for Biblical Formation, Ecce Homo, Sisters of Sion, founded 1984
- Institut Albert Decourtray for Studies in Judaism and Hebrew Literature, École cathédrale de Paris, founded 1991
- Studium Theologicum Galilaeae "Redemptoris Mater", Neocatechumenal Way, founded 2009.
- Polis Institute of Languages and Humanities, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Opus Dei, founded 2011.
- Studium Theologicum Salesianum, Salesian Pontifical University, Salesians of Don Bosco, founded 2011.
There are, additionally, 71 primary and secondary schools
- Christian Information Centre, founded 1973.
- Episcopal Commission for Christian Pilgrimages
- Franciscan Pilgrim's Office, founded 2009.
- Latin Patriarchate Pilgrimages
Shrines and holy sites
- Church of the Resurrection, Jerusalem - Franciscans share custody of Christianity's holiest site along with the Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, Coptic Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox, and Syriac Orthodox Churches.
- Bethphage, Jerusalem, Franciscans
- Cenacle, Jerusalem, Franciscans
- Dominus Flevit, Jerusalem, Franciscans
- Dormition Abbey, Jerusalem, Benedictines
- Flagellation Church, Jerusalem, Franciscans
- Garden of Gethsemane, Jerusalem, Franciscans
- Pater Noster Church, Jerusalem,Carmelite Nuns
- St. Anne Church, Jerusalem, Missionaries of Africa
- St. Peter in Gallicantu, Jerusalem, Assumptionists
- St. Stephen Church, Jerusalem, Dominicans
- Via Dolorosa 3rd Station, Jerusalem, Armenian Catholics
- Via Dolorosa 4th Station, Jerusalem, Armenian Catholics
- Via Dolorosa 5th Station, Jerusalem, Franciscans
- Via Dolorosa 6th Station, Jerusalem, Little Sisters of Jesus
- Via Dolorosa 7th Station, Jerusalem, Franciscans
- Emmaus of the Crusaders, Abu Gosh, Benedictines
- Shepherd's Field, Beit Sahour, Franciscans
- St. Lazarus, Bethany, Franciscans
- Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, Franciscans
- Milk Grotto, Bethlehem, Franciscans
- First Miracle Church, Cana, Franciscans
- House of Peter, Capernaum, Franciscans
- Church of the Visitation, Ein Karem, Franciscans
- St. John in the Desert, Ein Karem, Franciscans
- Stella Maris, Haifa, Carmelites
- Baptism of Our Lord, Jordan River, Franciscans
- Emmaus Nicoplis, Latrun, Betharram/Beatitudes
- Duc in Altum, Migdal, Legion of Christ
- Sermon on the Mount, Mount of Beatitudes, Franciscan Sisters of IHM
- Sacrifice of Elijah, Muhraqa, Carmelites
- Church of the Annunciation, Nazareth, Franciscans
- Church of St. Joseph, Nazareth, Franciscans
- Synagogue, Nazareth, Greek Melkite Catholics
- Emmaus Qubeibeh, Qubeibeh, Franciscans
- Church of Nicodemus, Ramleh, Franciscans
- Multiplication of the Loaves, Tabgha, Benedictines
- Primacy of Peter, Tabgha, Franciscans
- Transfiguration, Mount Tabor, Franciscans
- House of Parables, Taybeh,
- Church of St. Peter, Tiberias, Koinonia Giovanni Battista
Pilgrimage centers in Jerusalem
- Armenian Guest House
- Austrian Hospice of the Holy Family
- Casa Nova, Franciscan
- Dom Polski (Musrara)
- Dom Polski (Old City)
- Ecce Homo, Sisters of Sion
- Franciscan Missionaries of Mary
- Knight's Palace
- Maison d'Abraham
- Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center
- Rosary Sisters (Mamila)
- Rosary Sisters (Old City)
- Saint Charles German Hospice
- Saint Maroun Guesthouse
- Saint Thomas Center
- Tantur Ecumenical Institute
Pilgrimage centers in Bethlehem
- Betharram Center
- Casa Nova, Franciscan
- Casa Nova - Orient Palace
- Franciscan Missionaries of Mary
- Saint Joseph Home
- Saint Vincent Guest House
- Pilgrim's Shell, Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre
- Jerusalem Pilgrim's Cross, Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land
Popes, saints, martyrs
Saints and Martyrs
- Mary of Nazareth, Theotokos
- Mary Magdalen, Apostle to the Apostles
- Andrew, Apostle
- Bartholomew, Apostle
- Matthew, Apostle
- Jude/Thaddeus, Apostle
- Simon the Canaanite, Apostle
- James the Greater, Apostle, c.44
- James the Less, Apostle, c.62
- Thomas, Apostle, c.72
- Philip, Apostle, c.80
- John, Apostle, c.100
- James the Just, first Bishop of Jerusalem, c.69
- Simeon of Jerusalem, bishop, c.107
- Matthias of Jerusalem, bishop, c.120
- Narcissus of Jerusalem, bishop, c.216
- Alexander of Jerusalem. bishop, c.251
- Zamudas of Jerusalem, bishop, c.301
- Macarius of Jerusalem, bishop, c.333
- Maximus of Jerusalem, bishop, c.350
- Cyril of Jerusalem, bishop, c.383
- Elias of Jerusalem, patriarch, c.518
- Zosimas of Palestine, monk, c.560 (Feast: 4 April)
- Sophronius of Jerusalem, patriarch, d.638
- 33 Martyrs, c.70 (Feast: 16 August)
- Monks slain by Arab invaders, c.410 (Feast: 28 May)
- Hermits slain by Saracen invaders, c.509 (Feast: 19 February)
- 1500 Martyrs of Samaria, c.614 (Feast: 22 June)
- 44 hermits of St. Sabbas Monastery, c.614 (Feast: 16 May)
The Bishops of Rome who were born in, or first ministered in, the Holy Land:
- Saint Peter, Apostle, honored as first Bishop of Rome, c.64
- Pope Evaristus, c.99-107
- Pope Theodore I, 642-649
- Pope Urban IV, 1261-1264
- "Statistical Abstract of Israel 2010". Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics.
- "The World Factbook". Central Intelligence Agency.
- Bailey, Betty Jane; Bailey, J. Martin (2003). Who are the Christians in the Middle East?. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. pp. 150–158. ISBN 0802810209.
- Collings, Rania Al Qass; Kassis, Rifat Odeh; Raheb, Mitri (2008). Palestinian Christians: Facts, Figures and Trends. Bethlehem: Diyar Consortium. pp. 6–12.
- "Hebrew-Speaking Christians". Saint James Vicariate for Hebrew Christians.
- "Maronite Exarchate of Jerusalem". MaroniteJerusalem.
- "Armenian Exarchate of Jerusalem". Catholic Church in the Holy Land.
- "Syriac Exarchate of Jerusalem". Catholic Church in the Holy Land.
- "Chaldean Exarchate". Catholic Church in the Holy Land.
- "Opus Dei". Catholic Church in the Holy Land.
- "Nunciature to Syria". Catholic-hierarchy.org.
- "Apostolic Delegate". Catholic Church in the Holy Land.
- "Fundamental Accord". The Holy See.
- "Heads of Churches in Jerusalem". Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum.
- "Religious Men". Catholic Church in the Holy Land.
- "Religious Women". Catholic Church in the Holy Land.
- "Home Page". Christian Information Center.
- "Episcopal Commission for Christian Pilgrimages". Catholic Church of the Holy Land.
- "Pilgrims' Office". Basilica of the Annunciation.
- "Pilgrimages". Latin Patriarchate.
- "Pilgrim's Shell". Northwest Lieutenancy, EOHSJ.
- "Piolgrim's Cross". Custody of the Holy Land. Archived from the original on 2015-11-17.
- The Holy See
- Catholic Church in the Holy Land
- Catholic Church in the Holy Land, Statistics
- Armenian Catholic Church
- Chaldean Catholic Church
- Coptic Catholic Church
- Greek Melkite Catholic Church
- Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
- Maronite Catholic Church
- Syriac Catholic Church
- Saint James Vicariate for Hebrew-speaking Catholics in Israel
- Catholic Near East Welfare Association
- Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem
- Tantur Ecumenical Institute
- Raymond Cohen, Israel and the Holy See Negotiate: A Case Study in Diplomacy across Religions
- Jewish Virtual Library, Minority Communities in Israel: Christians
- Ron Roberson, CSP, The Eastern Christian Churches: A Brief Survey, 7th Edition