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Pope Following Case of Texas Inmate Scheduled to Die Wednesday

Cardinal Speaks of Need for ‘Merciful Heart of Jesus’ in Response to Capital Punishment

Cardinal Christopher Schoenborn, the Archbishop of Vienna, said today that Pope Francis is following the situation of Richard Allen Masterson, a death row inmate in Texas who is scheduled to be executed Wednesday.

The cardinal made this comment in response to a ZENIT question at a press conference to present the European Apostolic Congress on Mercy, scheduled for March 31 to April 4 as part of the Jubilee.

“Richard has been waiting 12 years for his execution,” Cardinal Schoenborn said. “It is frightening: To be executed tomorrow.”

The cardinal went on to speak about the work done by the Sant’Egidio Community and others in showing the “merciful heart of Jesus” to those who have been condemned to death.

Masterson was convicted in the 2001 murder of Shane Darin Honeycutt.

Pope Francis has spoken out not just against the death penalty, but even against the sentence of life imprisonment.

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in four languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': or

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