Pope Francis today called again for an end to the death penalty, noting a conference on this issue to be held this week in Rome by the Sant’Egidio Community.
The Pope noted that public opinion is turning against the death penalty, a development that he said is a “sign of hope.”
He affirmed the dignity of all people, even criminals, and said that a penal system that is increasingly conformed to God’s vision for humanity does not allow for depriving criminals of a chance to redeem themselves.
The Holy Father said this Jubilee of Mercy is a good occasion to promote a growing maturity in respect for life and human dignity, and said that all Christians are called to work for the abolition of the death penalty.
He encouraged governments to unite in this cause, and invited Catholics who govern to make of this holy year a time in which the death penalty is not carried out.
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