Pope Francis has approved a change to Catholic teaching, ruling the death penalty inadmissible in any case, Chris Cuomo said on CNN Thursday night. Cuomo, who clearly knows his Catholic catechism, took a moment to explain what that means, and why non-Catholic Americans might care what the pope does. "Even a person who does something horrible can be redeemed, deserves dignity, that's the point that he's making," he explained.
"This is smart on one level, stunning on another," Cuomo said. "The smart part is squaring the logic of being pro-life: If you believe that you don't mess with life in one area, you don't mess with it, period. It's logical, and it plays to an inconsistency that we see here in America," where "many who call themselves pro-life are also pro–death penalty," a contradiction that's "always struck me as odd," he added. "For believers, either the Big Man calls the shots of who lives and who dies, or we do — which is it?"
The "stunning" part is the scope of the pope's consistent embrace of life. When he was called Jorge Bergoglio in Argentina, Pope Francis "wasn't only a huge opponent of the death penalty, but of inequities of how we treat the living," Cuomo said. "His argument has always been that if you are pro-life, you are pro–all life, equally. So the question for you is, are you pro-life?" If you answered yes, he had some pointed follow-up questions. "The pope is just as strong on respecting those lives as he is an unborn baby," he said. "Are you?" You can watch his entire argument and decide below; Cuomo said he wants your feedback, too. Peter Weber