Vatican City, 16 June 2012 (VIS) - The Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, with the consent of the Synod of Bishops of the Maronite Church meeting pursuant to canon 85 paragraph 2 (2) of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, has transferred:

- Bishop Camille Zaidan, bishop of the Patriarchal Curia, to the office of archbishop of Antelias of the Maronites (Catholics 156,028, priests 162, religious 353), Lebanon. He succeeds Archbishop Youssef Bechara, who resigned from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese in accordance with canon 210 para. 1-2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

- Bishop Francois Eid O.M.M., eparchal vicar of Cairo, Egypt, and of Sudan of the Maronites, to the office of patriarchal procurator before the Holy See, having received prior pontifical assent. Bishop Eid will receive the tile of eparchal bishop emeritus of his former eparchy, under the terms of canon 211 para. 1 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

The Synod of Bishops of the Maronite Church has elected the following archbishops and bishops, all of whom have received prior assent from the Holy Father:

- Fr. Moussa El-Hage O.A.M., superior of the convent of Sts. Sarkis and Bacchus in Edhen and Zghorta, as archbishop of Haifa and the Holy Land of the Maronites (Catholics 7,000, priests 11, religious 9), Israel, and as patriarchal exarch of Jerusalem and Palestine (Catholics 504, permanent deacons 1) and Jordan (Catholics 1,500, priests 2). The bishop-elect was born in Antoura, Lebanon in 1954 and ordained a priest in 1980. He studied in Jerusalem and in Rome and has held various offices in his religious order as well as being active in pastoral work and education. He succeeds Archbishop Paul Nabil El-Sayah, who had earlier resigned from the pastoral care of those circumscriptions to take up the office of bishop of the Patriarchal Curia.

- Fr. Paul Rouhana O.L.M., secretary of the Middle East Council of Churches, as bishop of the patriarchal vicariate of Sarba, Lebanon. The bishop-elect was born in Amchit, Lebanon in 1954 and ordained a priest in 1982. He studied in Belgium and in France and been active in education at "Saint Esprit" University in Kaslik. He succeeds Bishop Guy-Paul Noujaim, who resigned from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese in accordance with canon 210 para. 1-2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

- Fr. Maroun Ammar, rector of the major seminary of Ghazir, as bishop of the patriarchal vicariate of Joubbe, Lebanon. The bishop-elect was born in Haje, Lebanon in 1956 and ordained a priest in 1983. He has served as pastor in various parishes and is a judge at the Court of Appeal of the Maronite Tribunal of Lebanon. He succeeds Bishop Francis Baissari, who resigned from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese in accordance with canon 210 para. 1-2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

- Fr. Joseph Mouawad, vicar general of the eparchy of Jbeil-Byblos, Lebanon, as bishop of the Patriarchal Curia. The bishop-elect was born in Mayfouq, Lebanon in 1970 and ordained a priest in 1995. He studied in Rome and has been active in pastoral work, as well as teaching theology at "La Sagesse" University in Beirut and "Saint Esprit" University in Kaslik.

- Fr. Georges Chihane, patriarchal administrator of Haifa and the Holy Land of the Maronites, Israel, and patriarchal exarch of Jerusalem, Palestine and Jordan, as eparchal vicar of Cairo, Egypt and Sudan of the Maronites (Catholics 5,500, priests 6, religious 3). The bishop-elect was born in Haret Sakhr, Lebanon in 1953 and ordained a priest in 1979. He has served as pastor in various parishes in Lebanon, France and Jordan.

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