Upheaval of the Latin Catholic Community in Palestine (1946–1949): Attempts of Reorganization and Consolidation in Jordan and Israel (1950–1956)
Holy See
Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
Custody of Holy Land
Palestinian refugees
Judeo-Christians in Israel

A Liminal Church by Maria Chiara Rioli brings significant new historical information to the history of contemporary Palestine. Her central themes are the disruptions suffered by the Latin patriarchal diocese in Jerusalem following the war of 1948–49 and the efforts to reorganize this Church in Israel and Jordan. The chapters dedicated to the period 1946–1949 deal with the position of the Christian churches on partitioning Palestine, Catholic fears about the establishment of the State of Israel, the Arab reaction, Israel’s occupation of Catholic properties, and accusations of Israeli desecration of Christian symbols. Of particular interest is the examination of the internal upheaval within the Latin patriarchal diocese of Jerusalem following the exodus of Palestine’s Arab population as a result of Israeli military operations and forced expulsion. From 1950 to 1956, the Palestinian Latin Church faced a number of Israeli and Jordanian laws limiting the activities of the Christian communities. The author focuses as well on the symbolic phenomenon of a number of Jews married to Christians that began the controversial process of conversion to Christianity. The book also addresses Catholic anti-communism in Israel and Jordan and the attempts of the Latin and Greek Melkite churches to fight it.

Author biography: 

Paolo Pieraccini holds a PhD in the history of international relations (University of Florence) and in law (University of Paris XI). He has authored several books on the policy of the Great Powers and the Holy See towards Palestine, on Palestinian Catholicism, and on political, diplomatic, juridical, archaeological, and religious aspects of the question of Jerusalem.