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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 talks about Iraq, his health and future travel plans

2014-08-19

The Pope led an intense five day visit in South Korea. On his flight back to Rome, he held an improvised press conference for about an hour, where the violence in Iraq and the persecution of minorities, took center stage.

POPE FRANCIS
"It is legitimate to stop the unjust aggressor. I want to underline the verb: stop. I don't  say bomb or start a war, but stop! The means by which that happens, need to be evaluated.” 

The U.S has launched military strikes against Islamic militants.  The Pope said one nation alone should not solely intervene, instead the process should be international. 

POPE FRANCIS
"After World War II, the United Nations came about. It's there that issue must be discussed. To ask: Is this an unjust aggressor? It certainly seems so. How do we stop them? That's what needs to be addressed. To the point.”

When it comes to his health, the Pope said he does have to remind himself to slow down every now and then, adding that the last time he took a vacation outside of Buenos Aires, was back in 1975. The Pope is 77 years old and he jokingly said that he probably has two or three more years to live, before, as he puts it,  he goes to the house of the Father.

He also told journalists that before his trip to South Korea, he visited Benedict XVI. Two weeks before that, the Pope emeritus sent him a text, and asked for his opinion. 

As far as his future travel plans, the Pope said he is hoping to visit Philadelphia in 2015 for the World Meeting of Families. Even though he has also been invited to Washington D.C, New York and Mexico during that same trip, the Pope says nothing is set in stone. 


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