Why isn't there a Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem yet?

There are 3 years since the see is vacant. Why such a important position was not yet formally filled?

I could be totally wrong here and if I am please somebody correct me. I believe it may be so that there is not a Western Patriarch in Eastern territory as an effort to restore communion with the Eastern Churches?



The Patriarch of Jerusalem has always been Orthodox. Even before the schism the Patriarch was always from the part of the Church that eventually became the Orthodox Church. The apostolic line of succession is through him.

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I would hope that it is in recognition that such a title should never have existed.

Uhhhm, what’s the polite version we use for hierarchs to describe a competition about who can urinate more forcefully?

It was created as a slap at the Orthodox and a power play, and has really never any anything less uncharitable than it started . . .

How would you react to the Patriarch of Constantinople creating “The Orthodox Patriarch of Rome”?


When Orthodox breaks communion with Rome, Rome obviously can send someone in communion to take the role of Patriarch.

And besides, why Latin Catholics can’t have a Patriarch? Just because there are more orthodox christians there? By that logic an Orthodox bishop in New York would be a slap in the face right?

And, frankly, I wouldn’t mind if there would be an orthodox patriarch of Rome. If it is coming from a church who is not in communion, why bother? It changes nothing.

One note that I think it is important to remember, the Orthodox have the doctrine of five main patriarchs, right? The four cities that they “control” or have patriarchs, Christianity is by far a minority. Antioch and Constantinople are completely disaster and Alexandria only has a more sizeable minority because of the Copts. So, Orthodox churches should make a mea culpa regarding the pastoral success in their patriarchates… The only traditional see that is clearly Christian is Rome. I think maybe these other cities would be far better with the Catholic Church.

BY THE WAY! The Orthodox have a Greek Patriarch in Alexandria, when the largest Church is the Copt, so it is the same case of naming a Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, no?

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Once you start with this false premise, you can’t possibly reach a coherent solution.

That’s just not the direction the excommunication happens . . .

Only “obvious” if you take a 19th/20th century view of the papacy . . .

That’ the problem, “have a patriarch”. That just isn’t what a patriarch is, something assigned so that folks “can have one” . .

No. Purporting to establish a competing patriarchy just isn’t comparable to a bishop.

No. That’s not a doctrine, it’s history. And one of the five ancient patriarchs is Rome.

Well, ok. But explain the Orthodox having a Greek patriarch in Alexandria. Why this is different?

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Archbishop Pizzaballa was appointed as Apostolic Administrator with a mandate to implement administrative and financial reforms. It maybe that the Holy See wants him to continue to implement the improvements to the Patriarchate’s operations, which are mostly funded by donors from outside of the Holy Land (mostly by the collective donations of the members of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.)

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This is a good point. Simply put, the Orthodox Church does not own Jerusalem. The Catholic Church has a right to be there too.

I don’t want people in this discussion to become confused. Some rites have their own bishops where a Latin rite bishop exists as well. An example is present in India. I am unsure of the situation in Jerusalem, however.

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I realize this, but the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem was founded during the Crusader era. There was an Orthodox Patriarch dating back to the apostles before the creation of that position.

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Err… the reason for this is the Arab conquest (in the 7th century), not any defect of faith on the part of the Orthodox. Catholic Christian Middle Eastern regions such as Maronite Lebanon also fell to the Islamic armies and became Arabized.


Well, arabs tried to conquest Europe too, look at Spain. We can’t deny Catholics were more effective. I’m not trying to diminish Orthodox, just to say that we need to be proud of Catholic resolve and since our Pope is the Successor of Saint Peter, His Holiness can create patriarchs wherever His Holiness finds necessary.

Yes. Distance would factor in the equation somewhere. Europe is far from Arabia, and Europe was never really conquered, and so was able to develop an army to free and defend itself while the conquered Christians in the Middle East could not.

I’m not really sure this is correct. The Pope should not create patriarchs to compete with those patriarchs who have apostolic succession. It just wouldn’t be conductive to ecumenism. And it’s a challenge- and a disrespectful one- to the Easterners, both Catholic and Orthodox. Essentially the Pope creating Latin Patriachs for traditionally Eastern sees would be construed by even Eastern Catholics are some sort of grand attempt to Latinize the Church. Please keep in mind that the Church has both Eastern and Western halves, and one half should not try to absorb or cancel out the other.


ziapueblo, The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem (i.e. the Latin Rite Archdiocese of Jerusalem) has not been suppressed nor is it in “Eastern Territory”.

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Exactly. Saying that the Church founded by Christ Himself can’t have a patriarch in the city where Our Lord preached and died is surreal in my opinion.

Then, what is the solution when a group of Catholics in an orthodox area finds themselves in need of a shepard? Tough luck this is an apostolic orthodox patriarchate?

I don’t think anyone said there could not be a Latin bishop in Jerusalem.


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There is a Patriarch in Jerusalem, Patriarch Theophilos III.


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