Fr Jacques Mourad, a Jesuit priest who was held captive by ISIS for five months in 2015, has been consecrated as the next Syriac Catholic Archbishop of Homs. Accompanied by dozens of other church leaders from the area, he was ordained on Friday.
The Syriac Catholic Church is one of 23 Eastern Catholic Churches in communion with Rome and has approximately 175,000 faithful in the Middle East and in the diaspora.
In an interview with Vatican News, Archbishop Jacques expressed his desire to prioritize the "renewal of theological and biblical education" of priests and to assist families in "living with dignity." He also praised the "practical ecumenism" in the region, highlighting how the different denominations work together "beautifully."
The Western Asia country has been plagued by a civil war for the last ten years, and more recently, it experienced thousands of casualties following a massive earthquake.
Archbishop Jacques, who is a prominent advocate of Christian-Muslim dialogue, plans to continue his efforts to promote interfaith understanding in the region.