September 15, 2016

Pope Francis with Zion Evrony, visiting assistant professor and former Israeli ambassador to the Vatican.

Pope Francis with Zion Evrony, visiting assistant professor and former Israeli ambassador to the Vatican.

Zion Evrony, former Israeli ambassador to the Vatican, has joined The Catholic University of America faculty as a visiting assistant professor. Evrony met Pope Francis briefly several times, helped organize his visit to the Holy Land, and accompanied him there.  He presented his credentials to Pope Benedict XVI in September 2012.

"As someone who was active at the highest level of Vatican diplomacy representing a key state in the Middle East, Ambassador Evrony brings unique insight to his teaching position at the pope’s university in the United States,” said Very Rev. Mark Morozowich, dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies. “Catholic University is the beneficiary of his deep knowledge and experience."

Zion Evrony and Mark Morozowich
Zion Evrony, visiting assistant professor, and Very Rev. Mark Morozowich, dean of theology and religious studies.

Evrony will teach an undergraduate theology course this fall titled Jewish-Christian Relations as well as a course in politics in the spring. Evrony has lectured and given interviews to the media in the United States, Ireland, Italy, and Israel on topics including the Middle East, Israel, the peace process, Jewish-Catholic dialogue and Israel-Vatican relations.  While ambassador to the Vatican, he initiated many projects to promote interfaith dialogue and understanding.

Father Morozowich noted that, through his teaching and public lectures on campus, Evrony will engage students "in a dialogue about important questions: Does religion cause wars or is it the political aims of those involved? He’ll help us to look at and understand religion and politics through the lens of history and current events."

Evrony said, "I am excited to join the faculty of The Catholic University of America. I have been received very warmly by all. I am looking forward to my year at Catholic University and sharing my experiences at the Vatican and promoting interfaith dialogue."

Evrony joined the Foreign Service in 1973 after three years of military service and briefly working as a journalist. He served as the Israeli ambassador to the Vatican from 2012 to 2016. Prior to that, he held several positions overseas, including ambassador to Ireland, consul general in Houston, and consul in New York.

He also served in Israel as director of the International Department and the Iranian Desk at the Policy Research Center, head of the Policy Planning Bureau, and director of the Diplomatic Cadet Course.

In 2000, he received Israel’s Foreign Service Award and the Civil Service Award for Excellence in recognition of his work as consul general in Houston.  In 2015, he received a Vatican award in recognition of his service as ambassador.

Evrony earned a doctorate in international relations, a master’s degree in business administration, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and political science, all from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is married and has three children.

He has held several university teaching positions as a guest lecturer on human rights in international relations at the Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, and the Open University in Israel. A book he edited, Jewish-Catholic Dialogue-Nostra Aetate 50 Years On, will be published soon by Urbaniana University Press.

Evrony’s teaching position at Catholic University is supported by a grant from the Israel Institute, which is dedicated to strengthening the field of Israel studies in order to promote knowledge and enhance understanding of modern Israel. The institute works in partnership with universities and think tanks to increase opportunities for the study of Israel and catalyze deeper engagement with the country in the academic, cultural, and policy sectors.