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Thousands of rallyists carry placards during a “Walk for Life” around the Quirino Grandstand in Manila to oppose the revival of the death penalty, Feb. 18, 2017. CBCPNews

Philippines: Officials Welcome Catechism Change on Death Penalty

‘The Purpose of Punishment is Rehabilitation and not Vengeance’

An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has welcomed the change made to the Church’s Catechism declaring death penalty as “inadmissible” and echoed the call to stop the revival of the capital punishment in the country. according to an August 7, 2018, report by CBCP News.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, chairman of the CBCP’s Commission on the Laity, stressed that “the purpose of punishment is rehabilitation and not vengeance”.

“Death is totally unacceptable because there are now means to rehabilitate those who commit crime while protecting the community,” Pabillo said over Manila archdiocese-run Radio Veritas.

The CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care also welcomed Pope Francis’ decision to revise the Catechism and its explanation of the Church’s teaching on the capital punishment.

Mr. Rodolfo Diamante, Executive Secretary of ECPPC, said they have long been pushing for such revision.

“It should never be said, especially in the teachings of the Church, that death penalty is justifiable,” he said.

“If you will be faithful of reading the Scriptures, God’s compassion towards the people, especially to the weak, is really unconditional,” Diamante said.

The Vatican earlier announced that Pope Francis has declared that the death penalty is never admissible, calling it “an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”.

The revised Catechism also advocates the abolishment of the abolition of capital punishment worldwide.

The House of Representatives had already approved the death penalty bill early last year but a similar measure has remained pending at the Senate.

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