Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem Most Rev. Pierbattista Pizzaballa has nominated Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine William Shomali as Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan to succeed Bishop Maroun Lahham.
The statement issued by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem states: “After consultation with the bishops Council and the Consultative Council of the Latin Patriarchate, H.E. Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, nominated Bishop William Shomali as Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan, succeeding Bishop Maroun Lahham who resigned from his office last week.”
The statement issued by the Apostolic Administrator added: “The Latin Patriarchate thanks again Bishop Maroun Lahham for his long service to the Church in the Holy Land, and wishes Bishop William Shomali success in his new mission, assuring him of the spiritual support of the diocese and the full collaboration of the priests and the faithful.”
Bishop William Shomali
Bishop William Shomali was born in 1950 in Beit Sahour. He entered in 1961 in the seminary of Beit Jala. After completing his studies in philosophy and theology, he received in 1972 his ordination to priesthood. Shomali was then chaplain in Zarqa, Jordan, and pastor in Shatana, Jordan. In 1980, he completed a postgraduate degree in English Literature from Yarmouk University and was a lecturer and later director of the Minor Seminary of Beit Jala.
In 1989, Bishop Shomali completed a Doctorate in Liturgical Studies at the Pontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm Studies in Rome and worked as a professor of liturgy, Vice-Rector and Dean of Studies at the Faculty of Philosophy and Theology of the Major Seminary of Beit Jala.
In 1998 he became General Administrator and Economist of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. In 2005, he was appointed rector of the Latin Patriarchate Seminary in Beit Jala. In 2009, he was appointed chancellor of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Shomali in 2010 as titular bishop and ordered him in succession to Kamal Bathish as Auxiliary bishop in the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. He became responsible as Patriarchal Vicar for Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan and Cyprus. He received his episcopal consecration on May 27 of the same year by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, in Bethlehem.