Pope Francis shines spotlight on capital punishment

Pope Francis is calling on Catholics worldwide to mobilize against the death penalty, a practice he says is both legally unnecessary and morally inadmissible.

“The commandment, ‘Thou shalt not kill,’ refers to both the innocent and the guilty,” Pope Francis said on Aug. 31. “I, therefore, call on all people of goodwill to mobilize for the abolition of the death penalty throughout the world. Let us pray that the death penalty, which attacks the dignity of the human person, may be legally abolished in every country.”

Pope Francis made the comments in a video released by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, in collaboration with Vatican Media and the U.S.-based Catholic Mobilizing Network. The video coincides with the pontiff’s September prayer intention that the death penalty be legally abolished in every country.

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