Pope Francis calls for end of death penalty during Bahrain visit.

Pope Francis calls for end of death penalty during Bahrain visit.

By Katie Yoder

Pope Francis spoke out against the death penalty and the need to guarantee the right to life for all during his trip to the Kingdom of Bahrain.

“I express my appreciation for the International Conferences and the possibilities for encounter that this Kingdom organizes and promotes, stressing in particular the themes of respect, tolerance, and religious freedom,” he said Thursday during his trip to the Muslim island nation in the Persian Gulf.

“These are, above all, commitments that need constantly to be put into practice so that religious freedom will be complete and not limited to freedom of worship; that equal dignity and equal opportunities will be concretely recognized for each group and for every individual; that no forms of discrimination exist and that fundamental human rights are not violated but promoted.”
These commitments begin, he said, with the right to life.

“I think in the first place of the right to life, of the need to guarantee that right always, including for those being punished, whose lives should not be taken,” he continued.

The 85-year-old pontiff made his comments during his meeting with the authorities, civil society, and the diplomatic corps at the Sakhir Royal Palace amid his Nov. 3–6 apostolic journey to Bahrain. He is the first pope to visit the country, which is located to the east of Saudi Arabia and west of Qatar.

Source: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

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