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Changes and Developments of the Latin Patriarchate and the Melkite Catholic Church in the Post-Great War Lands of Palestine and Transjordan

In: Social Sciences and Missions
Author:
Paolo Maggiolini Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

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Abstract

Reconsidering the relationship between the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Melkite Catholic Church, the paper aims to analyze the changes and developments of the Catholic Church’s presence in post-World War I Palestine and Transjordan. It specifically examines how the dialectic and debate on the issue of Arabization and Latin-Melkite competition during the Mandate period went beyond the traditional inter-Church rivalry, epitomizing the progression of a complex process of reconfiguring the Catholic ecclesiastical and missionary presence in the Holy Land in efforts to amalgamate and harmonize its “national-local” and “transnational” scopes and characters. The paper will specifically look at the local Catholic dimension and its religious hierarchies to understand the logic behind their positioning in regard to such issues. This perspective makes it possible to reveal how local religious Catholic leaderships (of both the Latin Patriarchate and Melkite Catholic Church) sought to interpret and promote the reconfiguration of their respective Church and religious community organizations and structures in these two lands during the Mandate. The intra-Catholic perspective will help us understand how intra-denominational as well as inter-denominational competition acted as tools for missionary, ecclesiastical and community development as well as a catalyst of change, anticipating most of the issues that still characterize the complex position and condition of the Church in this territory.

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