Mideast Expert Named to Roman Rota

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 9, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI has named an Israeli expert on the Church in the Holy Land as prelate judge of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota.

The appointment of Franciscan Father David Jaeger was announced today.

Father Jaeger is a canon law professor at the Pontifical University Antonianum, and a consultor for the Congregations for Eastern Churches and for the Clergy, and the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

David Jaeger was born to Jewish parents in Tel Aviv in 1955. He became a Christian in his late teens and joined the Catholic Church. He was ordained a Franciscan priest in 1986.

He is the only native-born Israeli ordained a Roman Catholic priest in the world.

Father Jaeger received a doctorate in canon law in 1989. In the 90s, Father Jaeger served as pastor of St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Austin, Texas, and was on the Tribunal for the Diocese of Austin, and then on the ecclesiastical appeals court for the state.

He specializes in Church-state relations, particularly in the Holy Land, and he was instrumental in negotiating the 1993 Fundamental Agreement between the Holy See and the State of Israel.