News Briefs

The Florida Supreme Court ruled on Oct. 14 that the death penalty cannot be imposed unless the jury is unanimous in the decision, aligning Florida with sentencing standards in most other states. • As Catholics and Lutherans mark the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation on Oct. 31, Pope Francis said they should feel “pain for the division that still exists among us but also joy for the brotherhood we have already rediscovered.” • Vatican officials announced on Oct. 20 that Pope Francis, who spends his summers in Rome, is throwing open the doors to the summer papal apartment in the apostolic palace at Castel Gandolfo to visitors. • Representatives from the Holy See’s office of interreligious affairs traveled to Cairo, Egypt, on Oct. 21 to lay the groundwork for the official restart of talks between the Holy See and the prestigious Sunni Muslim center of learning, Al-Azhar, after a five-year lull. • After chaos broke out at Holy Trinity Church in Johannesburg, South Africa, while it hosted a meeting to resolve the nation’s university tuition-hike crisis, South Africa’s Jesuits said on Oct. 20 that the church could no longer be used for such dialogue.

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