In Calling For The Abolition Of Death Penalty Globally
In a revolutionary move, Pope Francis has called for a ban on the death penalty, globally.
The Pope, in his address to the faithful this Sunday, declared that the commandment “You shall not kill” was absolute for both the guilty and innocent.
In an unprecedented call to action, the Pope encouraged Catholic politicians worldwide to make “a courageous and exemplary gesture” by seeking a moratorium on executions during the Church’s current Holy Year, which ends in November.
“I appeal to the consciences of those who govern to reach an international consensus to abolish the death penalty,” he told thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square.
“The commandment “You shall not kill” has absolute value and applies to both the innocent and the guilty,” he told the large gathering.
Over the years, the Catholic Church allowed for the death penalty in extreme cases, but has drastically changed its position recently.
The pope noted that there was now “a growing opposition to the death penalty even for the legitimate defense of society” because modern means existed to “efficiently repress crime without definitively denying the person who committed it the possibility of rehabilitating themselves.”
The Pope’s call will no doubt be seen as support for the Sant’Egidio Community, a worldwide Catholic peace and justice group that has been lobbying against the death penalty worldwide.
“All Christians and men of good will are called on to work not only for the abolition of the death penalty, but also to improve prison conditions so that they respect the human dignity of people who have been deprived of their freedom,” he said.
In the past, the pope also denounced life imprisonment, calling it “a hidden death penalty” and saying that more should be done to try to rehabilitate even the most hardened of criminals.
Edited by Jesus Chan
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