BEIRUT, LEBANON — The body of Monsignor Hilarion Capucci, the former Greek Melkite Catholic archbishop in Jerusalem who was exiled to the Vatican for his pro-Palestinian activism, has arrived in Lebanon where he will be buried.
A native of Aleppo, Syria, Capucci died in Rome on Jan. 1 at the age of 94. A funeral is expected Monday.
Appointed in 1965 as the Bishop of Jerusalem, Capucci was convicted in 1976 of using his diplomatic status to smuggle weapons from Beirut to the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Sentenced to 12 years, Capucci was released and deported after two years following intervention by the Vatican.
He tried to return in 2009 aboard a Lebanese aid ship defying Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. Israeli vessels intercepted the ship and towed it to Israel’s Ashdod port.