As a narrative lens for his speech, Francis cited the Golden Rule -- Jesus' teaching in Matthew's Gospel to "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
If the influential Catholic writer Thomas Merton were alive today, he would likely have strong words about police brutality and racial profiling.
Back in 1963, Merton called the civil rights movement "the most providential hour, the kairos not merely of the Negro, but of the white man."
His words echoed Saturday among black pastors at a conference, titled "Sacred Journeys and the Legacy of Thomas Merton," hosted by Louisville's Center for Interfaith Relations. The event marked the 100th anniversary of Merton's birth.
Morgan Atkinson's new documentary on Thomas Merton, the famed Trappist monk from the Cistercian abbey in Gethsemani, Kentucky, was "40 years in the making," he joked.
Actually, it was closer to two, but it was Atkinson's own pilgrimage to Gethsemani 40 years ago that not only broadened his exposure to Merton, but led him to become a Catholic himself.
A small c catholic: I wish I could report to you that Merton's piercing insights have become outdated and even irrelevant because we have rid the world of violence.
"Seasons of Celebration: Thomas Merton at 100" profiles Merton the writer, interfaith dialogue partner, peace and racial justice activist, as well as the photographer, calligrapher and correspondent.
When Trappist Fr. Matt Torpey speaks of his mentor, teacher and friend Thomas Merton, the words flow like a gentle stream.
Q and A: Catholics of all backgrounds have shaped New York for over 200 years. Another New Yorker and Catholic, Patrick McNamara, took a deeper look at them.
The only chapter of the International Thomas Merton Society that is located in a prison is at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution in Shirley.
Opinion: A clear mark of Christian solidarity is the practice of hearing the cry of the poor and making their cries for dignity, love, justice and freedom our own.
Young Voices: At their best, Christians are caught up in a love story meant to break down walls. At their worst, practitioners use religion to demean and divide.