Pope Francis Lauds Gavin Newsom for Moratorium on Death Penalty

Pope Francis presides over the meeting ‘Arena of Peace’ at the Verona's Arena on
Vatican Media via Vatican Pool/Getty

ROME — Pope Francis congratulated California governor Gavin Newsom for his refusal to carry out the death penalty and for California’s leadership in fighting climate change, the governor’s office reported.

“I was struck by how he immediately brought up the issue of the death penalty and how proud he was of the work we’re doing in California,” Newsom said after a May 16 meeting with the pontiff in the Vatican. “I was struck by that because I wasn’t anticipating that, especially in the context of this convening.”

Shortly after his inauguration in 2019, Newsom issued an executive order imposing a temporary moratorium on the death penalty and ordered the dismantling of the state’s execution chambers at San Quentin State Prison.

“The intentional killing of another person is wrong and as Governor, I will not oversee the execution of any individual,” said Governor Newsom. “Our death penalty system has been, by all measures, a failure.”

The Los Angeles Times praised Newsom’s move, asserting that as a Catholic, “the governor’s decree is in line with the church and the pope’s teachings.”

Following the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, Governor Newsom launched a crusade to defend the right to abortion, which the Catholic Church considers to be murder.

Just two days after the court’s Dobbs decision, Newsom proclaimed that California “will continue to be a safe haven for all women seeking reproductive health care services.”

A billboard advertising abortion services in California popped up on Gervais Street in Columbia, South Carolina, recently. The ad was paid for by Californiaâs Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. (Zak Koeske/The State/Tribune News Service via Getty)

Not content with promoting abortion in his own state, in 2022 Newsom had pro-abortion billboards erected in South Dakota, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas, slamming legislation restricting abortions and offering California as an abortion sanctuary state.

Pope Francis invited Governor Newsom to the Vatican to address a climate change summit last week, along with New York Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul, Boston Democratic Mayor Michelle Wu, and Massachusetts Democratic Governor Maura Healey.

“There is no greater authority than moral authority – and the Pope’s leadership on the climate crisis inspires us all to push further and faster. I’m humbled to go to the Vatican to join the Pope in his call for climate action,” Newsom said.

In his address in the Vatican, Newsom put forward California as a model of how the battle against climate change should be fought, while also demonizing the fossil fuel industry and Donald Trump.

Former President Donald Trump “just last week had oil executives convening, talking about his election,” Newsom said. “And he openly asked them for $1 billion to roll back the environmental progress of the Biden Administration, the environmental progress that we’ve made over the course of the last half century. Open corruption,” he continued.

“A billion dollars to pollute our states, to pollute our country, and to pollute this planet and to roll back progress in the open,” he added.


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