The following comes from a February 21 Catholic News Agency article:

Christians must work to abolish the death penalty and improve prison conditions, Pope Francis said on Sunday.

After praying the Angelus on Sunday in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis called on all Christians and people of good will to work “not only for the abolition of the death penalty” but also to improve the conditions in prison. These efforts would respect the human dignity of prisoners, he said.

He appealed to the consciences of government leaders to join “the international consensus for the abolition of the death penalty.” He asked Catholic leaders not to hold executions during the Year of Mercy. This would be as a “courageous and exemplary act,” he said February 21.

Rome will host an international convention for those working to abolish the death penalty on February 22. The event is being promoted by the Sant’Egidio Community.