DJIBOUTI: Pope Appoints New Bishop of Djibouti

By Arnold Neliba

DJIBOUTI, JANUARY 16, 2024 (CISA)-Following the resignation of Bishop Giorgio Bertin, O.F.M, Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Jamal Boulos Sleiman Daibes as the new bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Djibouti and apostolic administrator of Mogadishu, Somalia.

Before his appointment on January 13, the 59-year-old bishop-elect was the auxiliary bishop of the patriarchal diocese of Jerusalem of the Latin, which acts as a vicariate for Jerusalem and Palestine. They consist of the city of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories, including the Gaza Strip with Christians in this region dominantly Arabic-speaking.

Born on July 3, 1964, in Zababdeh, Palestine, the bishop-elect attended the seminary of Beit Jala and was ordained a priest on July 8, 1988. He served as vicar of the parish of Christ the King in Amman; professor in the Beit Jala and parish priest of the parish of Saint Elijah at Al-Wahadneh, Jordan.

Similarly, he was in 1988 awarded a doctorate in dogmatic theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University of Rome.

Bishop Jamal also served as professor and then rector of the diocesan seminary. He held positions as; head of the Department of Religious Studies at Bethlehem University, dean of the Faculty of Arts, parish priest of the Holy Family parish in Ramallah and director of the Schools of the Latin Patriarchate in Palestine. He was the Patriarchal vicar in Jordan from 2021 to 2022.

On March 11, 2022, he was appointed the auxiliary of the patriarchal diocese of Jerusalem of the Latins. He succeeds Bishop Giorgio Bertin who besides being bishop of Djibouti from 2001 to 2024, was the apostolic administrator for Mogadishu, Somali, since his appointment on April 29, 1990.

The Catholic Diocese of Djibouti, covering the entire Republic of Djibouti with an estimated size of 23,200 square kilometres has 5,262 Catholics out of the total population of 919,200 people, according to a 2021 census. The diocese is ministered by 5 priests, 1 permanent deacon and 21 female religious.