Cardinal Edwin O'Brien, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, has welcomed the appointment of Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa as the Apostolic Administrator of the vacant see of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and his elevation to the rank of Archbishop. Cardinal O'Brien assures the accompaniment in prayer of members of the Grand Magisterium, and of all the Knights and Dames of the world, entrusting his mission to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Palestine.
Pope Francis accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, presented by His Beatitude Fouad Twal, in accordance with can. 401 § 1 of the Code of Canon Law and appointed Apostolic Administrator of the vacant see Rev. Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, O.F.M., elevating him to the dignity of archbishop, assigning him the titular see of Verbe.
Rev. Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, O.F.M. was born in Cologno al Serio, in the diocese and province of Bergamo, on April 21, 1965. After being accepted into the minor seminary of the Franciscan Province of Christ the King, Bologna, in September 1976, on September 5, 1984, he began his novitiate in the monastery of La Verna. He made his temporary profession in La Verna on September 7, 1985 and his perpetual profession in Bologna on October 14, 1989.
After the first cycle of philosophical and theological studies, he obtained a Degree in Theology at the Pontifical Athenaeum Antonianum in Rome. On January 27, 1990 he was ordained deacon and on September 15, 1990 he was ordained to the priesthood in Bologna Cathedral by H.E. Cardinal Giacomo Biffi.
He arrived in the Custody of the Holy Land on October 7, 1990 and completed his postgraduate studies at the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum in Jerusalem in 1993. He later served as a professor of Biblical Hebrew at the Franciscan Faculty of Biblical and Archaeological Sciences in Jerusalem.
He began his service in the Custody on July 2, 1999. On May 9, 2001, he was appointed Guardian of the convent of Saints Simeon and Anna in Jerusalem. He was involved in the pastoral care of the Catholic faithful of Hebrew expression and was appointed Patriarchal Vicar in 2005 until 2008. The General Definitory elected him Custodian of the Holy Land and Guardian of Mount Zion in May 2004. On 22 March 2010 he was re-elected. In 2013 his term was postulated for another three years. His term ended in April 2016.
(Communiqué of the Holy See Press Office June 24, 2016, [original text italian])