Pope urges Catholics not to allow executions during 'Year of Mercy'

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis on Sunday urged Catholic leaders to show "exemplary" courage by not allowing executions this year, while expressing hope that eventually the death penalty will be abolished worldwide.

See Full Article

Francis told tourists and pilgrims in St. Peter's Square that "the commandment 'do not kill' holds absolute value and applies to both the innocent and the guilty."

He added that there is "an ever more widespread opposition in public opinion to the death penalty, even only as an instrument of legitimate social defence."

"I appeal to the conscience of those who govern so that international consensus is reached for the abolishment of the death penalty," the pope said. "And I propose to all those among them who are Catholic to make a courageous and exemplary gesture: may no execution sentence be carried out in this Holy Year of Mercy."

Francis is using the church's Holy Year, which runs through Nov. 20, to encourage efforts for more reconciliation and mercy in the world.

The pope is building on church teaching, laid out by St. John Paul II, that there's no justification for capital punishment.

"In effect, modern societies have the possibility to efficiently repress crime without taking away definitely the possibility to redeem oneself from those who committed" the crime, Francis said.

The pope said "even criminals hold the inviolable right to life" given by God.

Francis called on all Christians and all those of good will to work not only to abolish capital punishment but also to improve prison conditions.

From the start of his papacy, he has expressed concern that inmates in jails and prisons should be treated with dignity. He has often visited prisons during his trips throughout Italy and abroad, including last week while in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

While the pope insists he doesn't interfere in the political sphere, he has also made clear people must follow what he calls a "well-informed" conscience, and that local bishops can give guidance to Catholics, including voters, on political issues.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • ‘If we all stand up it can stop’: Pink Shirt Day marked around the world

    Canada News CTV News
    As messages of hate seem to be ever present, Pink Shirt Day reminds Canadians of the importance of standing up for one another and fighting stereotypes. Pink Shirt Day started in Nova Scotia in 2007 after a male Grade 9 student was bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school. Source
  • UN: $4.4B needed within weeks to stop hunger 'catastrophe'

    World News CTV News
    The United Nations needs $4.4 billion by the end of March to prevent catastrophic hunger and famine in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen, yet just $90 million has been collected so far, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday. Source
  • Quebecer charged in PC Plus breach, collectors urged to fortify password

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Ottawa police have confirmed that a Laval, Que., man is alleged to be behind a scam that involves stealing shoppers’ PC Plus points from their accounts. Police say 21-year-old Ferradji Manigat was arrested on Jan. Source
  • Where are the alleged sextortion sisters hiding? [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    The whereabouts of Toronto’s notorious Matharoo sisters who allegedly sextorted Nigerian billionaires is unknown. Kiran and Jyoti Matharoo — who grew up in Rexdale — became embroiled in a massive sex scandal when they were arrested for allegedly fleecing some of the African country’s wealthiest and most powerful men with threats of releasing raunchy photos. Source
  • Mother makes desperate plea for return of foster son's missing regalia

    Canada News CBC News
    A Surrey, B.C. mother is making a desperate online plea for the return of her foster son's missing First Nations dance regalia. Linda Cyrette says the traditional outfit was stolen from a friend's car that was parked outside of the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre in East Vancouver last week. Source
  • Husband's murder charge renews debate over limits of assisted-dying laws

    Canada News CTV News
    Family members of a Quebec man charged with murdering his wife say he did it because she was denied her request for a doctor-assisted death, renewing debate about whether the laws are too restrictive. Michel Cadotte, 55, was arrested at a Montreal nursing home Monday. Source
  • Liberals pretend our laws don’t matter

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    The steady flow of illegal migrants continues across Canada’s southern border. And the Trudeau government has no plan, no strategy, for dealing with the unprecedented surge in illegal migration. Rather than addressing the problem — the serious threat of unscreened migrants risking their lives to arrive on our doorstep — Liberal politicians have been sending the wrong message. Source
  • Rewritten Trump travel ban order delayed until next week

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — The White House is pushing back the release of President Donald Trump’s revamped refugee and immigration executive order until next week. Trump had said his administration would unveil the new order this week, but a White House official says that has been delayed. Source
  • Denver murder victim joins sanctuary city sacrificial lambs

    World News Toronto Sun
    Timothy Cruz has joined the growing list of “sanctuary city” sacrificial lambs. The 32-year-old was shot to death at a Denver light railway station early on Feb. 7. Cops say the motive was robbery. The gunman accused of killing Cruz is illegal immigrant Ever Valles, 19, an alleged gang member. Source
  • Single ISIS women have ‘gangster mentality’

    World News Toronto Sun
    The wife of the Guantanamo Bay captive turned suicide bomber says single women living under ISIS have a “gangster mentality” and revel in the death cult’s barbarity. Shukee Begum told the UK’s Channel 4 she took her five children to Syria in 2014 in an attempt to convince her husband, Jamal Udeen al-Harith, 50, to come home. Source