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“Ask a Priest: Has there ever been a pope from Israel?”
Q: I just want to know if we had a pope in the past who came from Israel. -P.B.
Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
A: The first pope was Peter, who came from Galilee, a region in northern Israel. Jesus himself made the appointment. “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18).
A number of popes came from nearby Syria, including Anicetus (died 168) and Constantine (died 715). Let’s unite our prayers for the current pope, who always has a lot on his shoulders.