Pope calls for jubilee moratorium on death penalty

February 22, 2016 VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis called for a moratorium on executions during the Year of Mercy and said the fifth commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” applies not only to the innocent but to the guilty as well. “Even a criminal has the inviolable right to life, a gift of God,” he…

Building walls to keep immigrants out is not Christian, pope says

As the plane carrying him back to Rome from Mexico was flying over Texas, Pope Francis insisted building walls to keep immigrants out of one’s country is un-Christian. Holding his customary in-flight news conference Feb. 17 after a six-day trip that ended at the Mexico-U.S. border, Pope Francis was asked about his reaction to U.S….

In silence, pope remembers those who cross Mexican-U.S. border

February 17, 2016 CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (CNS) — At the border of Mexico and the United States, Pope Francis blessed a large cross in memory of all the people who have crossed the frontier. The pope said nothing Feb. 17, but he clasped his hands tightly in prayer and bowed his head in silent prayer….

Pope snaps at pilgrim who caused him to fall into boy in wheelchair

February 17, 2016 MORELIA, Mexico (CNS) — Excitement turned potentially dangerous and elicited an angry snap from Pope Francis at a meeting with young people in Morelia Feb. 16. As the 79-year-old pope made his way to greet a boy in a wheelchair, one of the many pilgrims behind the boy pulled the pope’s arm,…

Pope tells Mexican prisoners society needs system of ‘social health’

February 17, 2016 CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (CNS) — Pope Francis urged society to rethink its ideas of locking up inmates and throwing away the key, calling such an approach another symptom of the “throwaway culture” he often decries and “a symptom of a culture that has stopped supporting life, of a society that has abandoned…

Talk to new bishops does not change guidelines on abuse, Vatican says

February 16, 2016 VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A talk given to new bishops during a Vatican-sponsored course does not represent new guidelines on the church’s response to abuse against minors by religious, a Vatican spokesman said. A 44-page report authored by French Msgr. Tony Anatrella and just published by the Vatican publishing house “is not…

El Paso Diocese gets ready for rendezvous with Pope Francis

February 16, 2016 EL PASO, Texas (CNS) — Two days before Pope Francis’ main event in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, the Diocese of El Paso was coordinating the final touches to its own two main papal events. While the Diocese of Juarez’s chancery was bustling with church officials obtaining their papal Mass credentials, El Paso Bishop…

Mexican politicians eager to show themselves meeting Pope Francis

February 15, 2016 MEXICO CITY (CNS) — Shortly after arriving in Mexico City Feb. 12, President Enrique Pena Nieto introduced Pope Francis to most of his Cabinet and senior staff. The next morning, he introduced the pope again to his team at the National Palace in central Mexico City, where presidents and leaders have projected…