RMG - Courageous and evangelical step by the Pope to eliminate death penalty from Catechism

14 August 2018

(ANS - Rome) - When considering the death penalty, an infinite number of ideas, preconceptions and, above all, many questions arise. Does the image of the criminal in his grave really relieve the pain of someone who has lost a loved one, a victim of the worst atrocities? In the name of what may an institution, a man or a woman claim the right to pronounce and impose a death sentence?

In recent days the whole world has praised and thanked the Pope for the courageous and, above all, the evangelical decision to "eliminate the death penalty from the catechism."

According to Amnesty International, "there were 993 executions in 23 countries in 2017. This is a 4% reduction compared to 2016, with 1,032 executions, and 39% compared to 2015, when the organization recorded the highest value since 1989."

Salesian Cardinal Charles Bo praises this choice as "a courageous affirmation to protect human dignity", this recent revision that the Church has made of the Catechism, which now declares that the death penalty, in all circumstances, is "inadmissible."

The Salesian, archbishop of Yangon, in Myanmar, welcomed the revised section of the Catechism and praised the Holy Father and the action of the Church to protect human dignity. "With the characteristic mercy and compassion that mark his papacy, our beloved Holy Father Francis has unequivocally corrected the historical aberration," he said.

"The Catholic Church," he again emphasized, "from now on will not compromise on the right to life under any circumstances and will not in any way support the death penalty."

In the message, Cardinal Bo stressed that this "great announcement" was received with great joy and hope by the groups working for the application of Human Rights and by all people of good will. The cardinal of Myanmar thanked the Pontiff for his "courageous affirmation of the Christian principle of human dignity."

Cardinal Bo concluded by praying that "the courageous step taken by the Holy Father inspires governments and other actors of civil society to work to abolish the death penalty everywhere."

For centuries philosophers and thinkers have asked: "By virtue of what right can men permit themselves to kill their fellow men?" The Holy Father courageously sustains that "it is necessary to affirm that condemnation by the death penalty is an inhuman measure that humiliates human dignity in whatever way it is performed. It is in itself contrary to the Gospel because it voluntarily decides to suppress a human life that is always sacred in the eyes of the Creator."

Source: Religión Digital


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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