Catholic Church’s Properties In The Holy Land Have New Custodian

The newly elected Custodian of the Holy Land Friar Francesco Patton is greeted by fellow friars during his official entry ceremony on June 6, 2016 at the Franciscan Church of Saint Savior Monastery in Jerusalem's Old City
GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty

JERUSALEM (AP) — The new custodian of the Catholic Church’s properties in the Holy Land has taken office in Jerusalem.

Italian Franciscan priest Rev. Francesco Patton replaced Pierbattista Pizzaballa in a ceremony on Monday. Several hundred people attended the festivities.

A procession of priests, nuns and other clergy welcomed Patton, 52, at Jaffa Gate, a main entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City, home to key holy sites sacred to Christians, Jews and Muslims.

From there they walked together with a troupe of Palestinian Catholic boy scouts through the narrow winding cobblestone streets of the ancient city, across the Christian quarter to the Saint Savior monastery.

Another ceremony will be held on Tuesday at the Church of Holy Sepulchre, the site where tradition holds that Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.

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