National Catholic Reporter

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Vatican City

Pope Francis calls death penalty 'unacceptable,' urges abolition

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Pope Francis came out squarely against the death penalty once again, calling it "unacceptable" regardless of the seriousness of the crime of the condemned.

Pope Francis met with a three-person delegation of the International Commission Against the Death Penalty on Friday and issued a letter on the occasion urging worldwide abolition.

Citing his previous messages against the death penalty, the pope called capital punishment "cruel, inhumane and degrading" and said it "does not bring justice to the victims, but only foments revenge."

Pope Francis: Kids need values, hope from teachers; teachers need better pay

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Teaching is about giving young people, especially troublemakers, values and hope, and it is "an injustice" that today's educators are paid so poorly, Pope Francis said.

In a world where it is already difficult for kids to find a decent point of reference, they must find positive guidance from teachers, who "are able to give meaning to school, studying and culture, without reducing it all just to passing on practical knowledge," he said Saturday.

St. Vincent de Paul members abducted in Syria, whereabouts unknown

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The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has been unable to confirm the number of its members abducted in Syria, as well as where they are being held.

"We're waiting for news," Helene Afriat, communications officer for the International Confederation of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Paris, told Catholic News Service on Friday. She added that communication with people in the Mideast was "very difficult."

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April 10-23, 2015

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