Pope Francis Calls for a Global Repeal of Death Penalty

Aleteia Image Department is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Aleteia Image Department is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
The Pope seeks moratorium on executions, based on the rules set forth in the Ten Commandments.

Pope Francis asked for the global abolition of death penalty. He said that the commandment of “You shall not kill” continues to be equally and absolutely valid for both the innocent and the guilty. He used a few of his strongest words to make his case against capital punishment. The pontiff also asked Catholic politicians all over the world to make a courageous and also an exemplary gesture through seeking moratoriums on the executions during the present Holy Year of the Church. This Holy Year runs its course in November.’

Pope Francis Calls for a Global Repeal of Death Penalty[/tweetthis]

The Jubilee Year of Mercy was started by the Pope on December 8. The formal year around push of the church for forgiveness and mercy is all set to continue until November. The Feast of Christ the King will be celebrated on November 20.

The pope gave his support to an international conference happening in Rome. It is given the name “A World Without the Death Penalty.” He said that he hoped this conference will bring fresh impetus to the effort to end the specter of capital punishment.  The redemption possibility for the offenders were highlighted by the pope along with the criminal justice system being open to the possibility of reintegration to society. Incidentally, Pope Francis is following in the footsteps of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI in making his opposition known against death penalty.

The 1.2-billion-member strong Catholic Church permitted the death penalty in the rarest of rare instances in centuries. This position changed under Pope John Paul. He died in 2005. Pope Francis said that there is an increasing opposition to death penalty even at times when it may seem legitimate to protect the society. This is due to the fact that modern technology existed for the efficient repress of crime sans the definitive denial of the criminal a chance of rehabilitation.

There was a good reason for the pope to make such comments. He has lent his support to an international conference allied against death penalty. The said conference was organized by Sant'Egidio Community. It is a Catholic peace and justice group spread across the world.

The pope has visited multiple jails since his election to the Catholic church's highest post almost three years before. He has requested better prison conditions. Pope Francis has also made his disapproval known when it came to life imprisonment, terming it “hidden death penalty.”


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