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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.

Pope Francis prepares encyclical on the Ecology for start of 2015

2014-07-15

Pope Francis has reportedly spent months drafting his new encyclical on Creation, and respect for the environment.

In March, during an audience with superiors from the Franciscan order, the Pope expressed how much this topic concerns him, and asked them for advice.

FR. MICHAEL ANTHONY PERRY
Minister General, Order of Friars Minor
"The Pope himself brought up the issue of the environment. And he talked about his deep concern that we need, the Church needs, to find the way to respond, using the best of science. But also using the best of goodwill of all of humanity, to bring together a consensus on trying to respond to the crisis, the ecological crisis.”

To help him reflect on this issue, the Franciscan leaders gave him a copy of their "Franciscans for Ecology” text. In it, they cite several initiatives within this field that the Order has promoted, alongside people of other faiths.

FR. MICHAEL ANTHONY PERRY
Minister General, Order of Friars Minor
"I was in the Amazon region in February. I've been there three times in the last year, and every time I go I see greater deforestation. FLASH And I was just in Eastern Congo where there's also  conflict over the mineral resources there, and the impact that that is having on the social climate.”

But, the Franciscan Minister General said he believes the world will have to wait to read the encyclical. Vatican sources point to early 2015.

FR. MICHAEL ANTHONY PERRY
Minister General, Order of Friars Minor
"Keep in mind that the Pope, the Church, in October, will have a Synod on family life. There will be a pre-Synod and then the Synod. So the Pope is gonna be very busy preparing for that Synod. So, some time after October, maybe November. He might wait until the beginning of the new year.”

Fr. Michael Perry highlighted that looking after the environment is an issue that all people, believers and non-believers, should work for.

The Pope also turned to other figures like Erwin Kräutler, bishop of Xingu, a diocese in the Amazon greatly affected by deforestation.


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