Apostolic Nuncio Named to Israel

Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto Accepts Challenge ‘With Joy’

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ROME, AUG. 20, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, formerly apostolic nuncio to Australia, as apostolic nuncio to Israel and apostolic delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine. 

Speaking to Vatican Radio about the appointment made Saturday, the 70-year-old archbishop acknowledged that while grateful, he is aware that he faces a major challenge.

“But it is a challenge I accept with joy; because I think it is important to carry on the work of the past few years which was accomplished with hard work and graciousness by my predecessors,” he said. “I will move in their wake and offer my best efforts in the cause of dialogue and peace.”

The Italian prelate is familiar with the region, having served in Jerusalem in the early 80s, then as apostolic nuncio to Jordan and Iraq from 1994-2000.

Archbishop Lazzarotto emphasized that only through dialogue can a just solution be found to meet the various aspirations of the different peoples of the region. “There are many men and women of good will who live in the Holy Land,” he said.

Speaking of the region’s small Christian community, Archbishop Lazzarotto praised their witness to their faith, through “small fraternal gestures, and small gestures of understanding, dialogue and friendship.”

“I believe this is the necessary path to live together, in harmony and fraternity, to be living witnesses to the Risen Lord,” he said. 

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