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Keep up with the Synod of Bishops on the family here
Caption: Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad, Iraq, arrives for a session of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican in this Oct. 16 file photo. Archbishop Sako suspended 12 Chaldean priests and monks for not receiving permission from their superiors before emigrating from Iraq. (CNS/Paul Haring)
Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad, Iraq, arrives for a session of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican in this Oct. 16 file photo. Archbishop Sako suspended 12 Chaldean priests and monks for not receiving permission from their superiors before emigrating from Iraq. (CNS/Paul Haring)
Pope Francis calls for abolishing death penalty and life imprisonment

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis called for abolition of the death penalty as well as life imprisonment, and denounced what he called a "penal populism" that promises to solve society's problems by punishing crime instead of pursuing social justice.

"It is impossible to imagine that states today cannot make use of another means than capital punishment to defend peoples' lives from an unjust aggressor," the pope said Oct. 23 in a meeting with representatives of the International Association of Penal Law.
(full story)


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Caption: Pope Francis delivers his talk during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Oct. 22. (CNS/Paul Haring)
Pope Francis delivers his talk during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Oct. 22. (CNS/Paul Haring)
NEWS BRIEFS Oct-22-2014
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THIS WEEK IN ORIGINS

Editors: Contents of Origins CNS Documentary Service, Vol. 44, No. 21 (Oct. 23, 2014):

-- Cardinal Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, presents a midterm summary of discussions at the extraordinary session of the Synod of Bishops on the family.

-- Stephen and Sandra Conway describe to the Synod of Bishops their experiences as coordinators in Africa of Retrouvaille, a program for troubled marriages.

-- The Minnesota dioceses of St. Paul-Minneapolis and Winona and attorney Jeff Anderson, who has represented plaintiffs in dozens of clerical sexual abuse lawsuits filed against the dioceses, announce new protocols for the protection of children as part of a landmark settlement by the parties.

-- In separate statements Archbishop John C. Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Bishop John M. Quinn of Winona, Minnesota, and Joe Doe 1, the original plaintiff in a Minnesota sexual abuse lawsuit, commend new protocols for protecting children and helping abuse survivors heal.

-- Every country has a primary duty to protect its own population from unjust aggression and when unable to do so, the international community must intervene, says the Vatican's permanent observer to the United Nations, Archbishop Bernardito Auza.

-- Any attempt at immigration reform must take into account the children and other family members left behind when economic or social conditions cause parents to emigrate, says Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, Vatican delegate to international organizations in Geneva.

-- Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis issues a call for peace in the wider St. Louis area amid the continuing community unrest following the police shooting of unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown in August.


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VATICAN
Cardinal Wuerl says family synod came to 'real consensus'
Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington said the Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops on the family came to a "real consensus" after two weeks of animated debate, and that its final report will serve as a solid basis for the world synod on the family in 2015.
Archbishop Kurtz urges more transparency at next family synod
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, said the October 2015 world Synod of Bishops on the family should return to the practice of previous synods in publishing participants' interventions, for the benefit of their discussions and the information of the outside world.
Archbishop Kurtz hopes synod's final report will 'refine and clarify'
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, said he hoped the final report of the Synod of Bishops on the family would improve on the assembly's midterm report in celebrating exemplary families, encouraging missionary outreach and emphasizing that the church's pastoral efforts must be grounded in Scripture and Catholic teaching.


South Sudan's bishops warn of humanitarian disaster if war continues
Noting that thousands of South Sudanese citizens had been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced, the bishops said the country's "traumatized population has been re-traumatized by atrocities we have rarely seen before."

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