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New Custodian of the Holy Land

May 20, 2016. Friar Francesco Patton is the new Custodian of the Holy Land. He succeeds Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, who was in office for the last 12 years. Friar Francesco Patton is 52 years old from Vigo Meano (Italy). He graduated in Communication Sciences from the Pontifical Salesian University of Rome and until now was the provincial minister of the Order of Friars Minor in Saint Vigilius of Trent.

Vatican workshop pushes for ceasefire and political transition to end Syrian crisis

2014-01-12

The Vatican push for peace in Syria will continue with a workshop on Monday focused on ending the conflict, and pushing for dialogue. 

Some of the guest speakers at the workshop include Mohamed ElBaradei, the former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency,  Jeffrey Sachs, a senior U.N. advisor on economic development and poverty.

The one-day event is organized by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS). It'll gather important global voices to discuss solutions to end the three-year civil war.

In following Pope Francis' guidance, the PAS will offer four concrete proposals. The first is to establish a ceasefire, in order to help distribute humanitarian aid. Second, to encourage inter-religious dialogue, and end the persecution of Christians in Syria. Third, to set up a transitional government that leads the country to elections. And lastly, to tackle all forms of human trafficking, including prostitution.

Presentations range from the reaction of the international community in the conflict, to the regional context of the violence, or the role of religion in peace-building.

According to U.N. estimates, there are now more than 120,000 deaths from the violence. The fighting has also displaced nearly eight million people, with two million of them fleeing to neighboring countries.  


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