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The Francis Effect?

After a meeting at the Vatican on May 10 with Pope Francis, Cuba’s President Raúl Castro told reporters that he studies all of the pope’s commentaries and told him, “If you continue speaking like this, sooner or later, I will return to prayer and I will return again to the Catholic Church.” • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on May 8 reversed the convictions for sabotage of three Plowshares protesters, including 84-year-old Sister Megan Rice. • Pope Francis’ visit to Latin America on July 5-12 will put him in direct contact with the poor, the sick and those striving to bring the Gospel to bear on social inequalities in Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay. • A French court told authorities in Ploermel, France, on April 30 to remove the small town’s 29-foot-tall statue of St. John Paul II, because its public placement violated the separation of church and state. • In a statement on May 6 calling for the end of the death penalty, Virginia’s bishops said it was time to shift the conversation from who should be executed and how to why the death penalty continues to be applied.

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