With effect from May 31, 2011, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples has decreed that the Vicariate of Kuwait and the Vicariate of Arabia will undergo a reorganisation of territories and a modification of title.
The Vicariate of Kuwait will be called "The Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia" and will include the territories of Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia. Accordingly, the present Vicar Apostolic of Kuwait, His Lordship Bishop Camillo Ballin, MCCJ, will assume the title of "Apostolic Vicar of Northern Arabia".
The Vicariate of Arabia will be called "The Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia" and will include the territories of the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen. The Vicariate of Arabia is under the pastoral care of His Lordship Bishop Paul Hinder, OFM Cap. The Gulf States of Qatar, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia are currently in the jurisdiction of the Vicariate of Arabia.
The two ecclesiastical territories have been reorganised due to the unequal distribution of the faithful in the Apostolic Vicariates of Arabia and Kuwait and because both the Vicariates have been entrusted to the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (OFM Cap.)
From the historical point of view, Kuwait was formerly part of the Vicariate of Arabia. In 1953 Kuwait was separated from it and established as an independent Apostolic Prefecture. It was raised to the status of an Apostolic Vicariate in 1954. The two Vicariates in the Arabian Peninsula are being reorganised after more than 57 years.
The faithful are urged to keep this significant event in their prayers, at the same time asking the Lord for His blessing on both the Vicariates and all the faithful. May Our Lady of Arabia continue to intercede for each one of us at this special time.
RELATED DOCUMENTS (.PDF):
Announcement from the Apostolic Nunciature in Kuwait
Decree (Original in Latin)
Decree (Translated into English)