Pope Francis has called for a moratorium on the death penalty during the Year of Mercy, and for all Christians and others of goodwill to work to abolish capital punishment, as reported in The Record yesterday.
Pope Francis called for a moratorium on executions during the Year of Mercy and said the fifth commandment, “Thou shalt not kill”, applies not only to the innocent but to the guilty as well.
“Even a criminal has the inviolable right to life, a gift of God,” he said on 21 February, after reciting the Angelus with visitors gathered in St Peter’s Square.
Marking the beginning of an international conference, “For a world without the death penalty” sponsored by the Community of Sant’Egidio, the Pope expressed hope that it will strengthen efforts to abolish the death penalty(…)
(…)The Pope appealed to world leaders to reach an international consensus on the abolition of the death penalty. He also proposed Catholic government leaders “make a courageous and exemplary gesture by seeking a moratorium on executions during this Holy Year of Mercy”.
“All Christians and people of goodwill are called today to work not only for the abolition of the death penalty, but also to improve the conditions of life in prison, in the respect of human dignity of people deprived of freedom,” he said.
The full article is available on The Record’s website: The Record » Pope calls for jubilee moratorium on death penalty.
In December of 2015, the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council (ACSJC)’s publication Justice Trends published an article about the Australian Catholic Bishops’ offer to aid the Australian Government in it’s international work in abolishing the death penalty.
From the article:
Archbishop Hart said: “Human dignity is the dignity unique to human beings and the basis of all human rights.
“The inherent dignity and right to life of every person must be respected from the moment of conception until natural death.
“The imposition of the death penalty is cruel and unnecessary for what it does to those found guilty, to their families and to our society. Communities are much richer when they can demonstrate mercy.