Tag: Pope Francis

Pope Francis Vists Inmates

Pope Francis has concluded his visit to the U.S. It was a big success. Today, among other stops, he visited a jail in Philadelphia and met with inmates.

Pope Francis also rebuked society for not doing enough to rehabilitate prisoners. “It is painful when we see prison systems which are not concerned to care for wounds, to soothe pain, to offer new possibilities,” the pope said, speaking in Spanish through an interpreter. “It is painful when we see people who think that only others need to be cleansed, purified, and do not recognize that their weariness, pain and wounds are also the weariness, pain and wounds of society.”

...Visiting the imprisoned is a traditional good work in the Catholic Church, one of the seven corporal works of mercy.

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The Pope, Politics and a Fiat

For two hours in the car today, the only news was the Pope's visit to Washington. He rode in a small Fiat. He talked politics, taking sides on issues that showed his independent thinking. Republicans seemed less happy than Democrats, even though he espoused positions both in line with and against those taken by partisans. His views on immigration and climate change more closely matched Democrats while his views on same sex marriage and abortion were closer to Republicans. His views on sex abuse were expected to anger Catholics who think he has aligned too closely with Bishops.

He held a ceremony naming a new saint. Tomorrow he will address Congress. He mingled as much as possible with the people. He's also expected to to visit a homeless shelter at some point where he may serve food. And he'll go to Philadelphia to meet with sex abuse victims. And also visit New York.

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Pope Francis Offers Help for Closing Guantanamo

Pope Francis's Secretary of State met with John Kerry today. He relayed the Pope's offer to use his international contacts to find alternative placement for Guantanamo detainees.

The pope made clear his feelings on the kind of abuses associated with Guantanamo in October, when he railed against the "penal populism" that led to countries facilitating torture, using the death penalty and incarcerating people without trial.

"These abuses will only stop if the international community firmly commits to recognising... the principle of placing human dignity above all else," he said.

Pope Francis is also a harsh critic of life sentences, which he says are a "hidden death penalty," and solitary confinement, calling it "physical and psychological torture". [More...]

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