A courageous act
· At the Angelus the Pope asks government officials to stop capital execution during the Jubilee ·
A “call to the consciences of those who govern, so that they come to an international consensus aimed at abolishing the death penalty” and a proposal to make “an act of courage, giving an example, that the death penalty not be applied in this Holy Year of Mercy”. Pope Francis made this call at the Angelus on 21 February during which he also discussed his recent visit in Mexico.
Speaking to the numerous faithful in St Peter's Square about Sunday's Gospel, the Holy Father called his days in Mexico “an experience of transfiguration” because, he said, “the Lord has shown us the light of his glory through the Body of the Church, of his holy people that lives in this land: a body so often wounded, a people so often oppressed, despised, violated in its dignity”. He then highlighted that “the spiritual 'centre of gravity' of my pilgrimage was the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe” where he prayed to “she who carries imprinted in her eyes the gaze of all of her children, gathering up the sorrows caused by violence, kidnapping, assassinations, the violence against so many poor people, against so many women”.
After reciting the Marian prayer, Francis spoke about the international conference in Rome, organized by the Community of Sant’Egidio, in order to launch an appeal against the death penalty. With the hope “that this conference might give new strength to efforts to abolish the death penalty”, the Pope stated that the development of public opinion “is a sign of hope”. In fact, he said, “modern societies have the ability to effectively control crime without definitively removing from the criminal the possibility of redeeming himself”. “The commandment 'thou shall not kill' has absolute value and refers to the guilty as well as the innocent”.
St. Peter’s Square
Nov. 17, 2018
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