New custodian of Holy Land vows to work for peace, dialogue

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The Italian Franciscan priest named to head the Catholic Church's properties in the Holy Land says he is committed to building bridges, dialogue and peace.

The Vatican said Friday that the Rev. Francesco Patton, 52, would replace the Rev. Pierbattista Pizzaballa as custodian of the Holy Land. Pizzaballa had been Holy Land custodian for the past 12 years.

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Patton said his was a delicate and important task. He also acknowledged that his name alone carried weight, given that "Francis" is the namesake of both the pope and the founder of his order, St. Francis of Assisi.

He said: "We know the name implies a tireless commitment to building bridges, dialogue and peace." He said the Franciscan commitment to peace is "a program of life."