Pontifical Council Backs U.S. Groups Opposed to Death Penalty

ROME, MARCH 7, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace gave his support to a U.S. delegation of movements that oppose the death penalty and work to reform the judicial system for minors.

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Archbishop Renato Martino shared with the members of the delegation the Catholic Church’s teaching on the right to life and religious freedom.

He emphasized the importance of defending human life from conception until natural death, as reflected in the principles discussed in the encyclical “Evangelium Vitae,” according to Vatican Radio.

The delegation, which was received recently at the Roman headquarters of the pontifical council, included, among others, the Reverend Thomas Masters, president of the organization Under Our Wings; Vincent Schiraldi, president of the Justice Police Institute; and Renny Cushing, executive director of Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation.

Also attending the meeting were the parents of some people who were executed and of minors confined as adults in U.S. prisons.

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