Pontiff Lauds Efforts to End Death Penalty

Notes Human Dignity of Prisoners

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 30, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI today addressed a group of people working to the end the death penalty, expressing his hopes that their efforts will succeed.

At the end of the general audience, the Pope spoke in English to delegations from a number of countries participating in a meeting being promoted by the Sant’Egidio Community on the theme «No Justice without Life.» 

He said: «I express my hope that your deliberations will encourage the political and legislative initiatives being promoted in a growing number of countries to eliminate the death penalty and to continue the substantive progress made in conforming penal law both to the human dignity of prisoners and the effective maintenance of public order.»

He then turned to greet students of the Pontifical French Seminary in Rome, and a delegation from the French Diocese of Belley-Ars accompanied by Bishop Guy Bagnard, who have come to Rome with a portrait of St. John Mary Vianney for the Vatican Basilica in commemoration of the Year for Priests. «Following the example of St. John Mary Vianney,» he told them, «let us rediscover the importance of prayer in our lives.»

The Holy Father also welcomed nuns of the Congregation of Daughters of Divine Charity who, accompanied by Cardinal Vinko Puljic, archbishop of Vrhbosna, Bosnia Herzegovina, have come to Rome on a pilgrimage of thanksgiving for the recent beatification in Sarajevo of five members of their order martyred during World War II. «Grateful for their witness, let us pray to God to give us the courage to persevere in our service,» the Pope said.

Finally, he thanked representatives of the Italian Federation of Bakers for their gift of a number of «panattoni» which will be used for the Pope’s charity.

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