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Vatican

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.

North Korea launches missiles upon Pope's arrival

2014-08-14

Tensions rose before the Pope's arrival to Seoul, as North Korea launched three short ranged missiles. The missiles landed in the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan. 

South Korea's Ministry of Defense said that the launch occurred at 9am without any previous warning from the North. The Pope's plane landed at 10:15am. Officials say that they are on the alert for any other potential launches. 

The attacks come at a time when the Pope is urging for peace and reconciliation in the peninsula

During his flight, he sent several messages to the heads of state of the nations he flew over. The most significant of these was a message to Chinese President Xi Jinping . This is the first time that a Pope has flown over Chinese air space. 

Many hope that relations between Vatican and China, an ally of North Korea, will improve during his visit to the Korean peninsula

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