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Modern society has the means of protecting itself, without definitively denying criminals to chance to reform cf. Evangelium Vitae , I renew the appeal I made most recently at Christmas for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary.


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Although the death penalty has been abolished in all Australian States and Territories, and Federally, calls for its return are still heard periodically. Significant political figures have recently supported calls for a referendum on the issue, and at least one political party in Australia officially favors the death penalty. Around the world, thousands of people are executed each year. A number of local Churches in the Asia- Pacific region are seeking solidarity and assistance to end the death penalty in their countries.

It demands courage to say "no to killing of any kind, and it requires the generosity to provide perpetrators of even the most heinous crimes the chance to live a renewed life envisioned with healing and forgiveness. In doing so there is sure to be a better humanity.


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The death penalty is also incompatible with a consistent ethic of life, in a society which is now more able to restrain criminals and more willing to work for their reform. For these reasons the death penalty has itself become an unnecessary and unjust taking of human life.

UN Human Rights Council 42: general comment on the question of the death penalty

We repeat our call for the development of humane restorative judicial processes for all criminal offending that allow not just for sanctions where appropriate but for apology, healing, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and, wherever possible, reconciliation. The bishops of Australia would certainly oppose any move to reintroduce the death penalty in this country. For more than 25years, the Catholic Bishops of United States have called for an end to the death penalty in our land. Sadly, however, death sentences and executions in this country continue at an increasing rate.

In some States, there are so many executions they rarely receive much attention anymore.

Human Rights, Extradition and the Death Penalty

It is neither reasonable nor tenable to repose the most serious matter of the life and death of human persons at the discretion of even the highest civil authority in the country — the Office of the President. Who lives and who dies?

Who dies now and who lives longer? These are questions, the answers to which are better left to God who is the one and only giver of life. Taking this back or not is also His prerogative. If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people's safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

Pope Francis officially updated Catholic Catechism, calling the death penalty “inadmissible” - Vox

Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm - without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself - the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity "are very rare, if not practically nonexistent.

The new text The death penalty Topics Pope Francis papal magisterium death penalty.

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