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No to death penalty – Pope Francis; no to war and violence – world poets


Fred M. Lobo

Fred M. Lobo

By Fred M. Lobo


Pope Francis has expressed categorical opposition to capital punishment.

No to death penalty, said the gentle Pope.


World poets gathered in India also renounced war and violence as they called for international peace, unity, universal love, and healing at the World Poetry Festival.

Peace, love, and healing, not war and violence, said the PENTASI B poets organization.


The Pope expressed his anti-death penalty stand in a speech to clerics attending a conference in Rome marking the 25th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

No to capital punishment, he declared in defense of human capital and cherished Christian values.


The Pope’s anti-death message and meeting with participants of the Pontifical Council at the Vatican were widely carried by AFP wire reports.

Papal bull from the Vatican unto the world.


The Pope acknowledged that the Vatican itself had historically had “recourse to the extreme and inhuman remedy” of judicial execution.

But past doctrinal errors should now be put aside, he said.


“We have to restate that, however grave the crime that may be committed, the death penalty is inadmissible because it attacks the inviolability and the dignity of the person,” the Pope Francis said according to AFP.

The execution of a human being is fundamentally against the teachings of Christ because, by definition, it excludes the possibility of redemption, he added.


The Catholic Church cited increased strength of its opposition to the use of capital punishment in recent years, noting that Pope John Paul II made an appeal for a global consensus on abolition in 1999 and Francis’ predecessor, Benedict XVI, issued a similar call in 2011.

A succession of calls from Rome against death penalty.


Observers noted that Vatican‘s 1992 catechism text says authorities should take appropriate measures in the interest of the common good without excluding the use of the death penalty in extremely grave cases.

The recent updates say justifying circumstances are now rare if not practically inexistent.


Pope Francis made clear his own personal opposition to the death penalty on numerous occasions, saying in June, 2016, that it doesn’t give justice to victims, but it feeds vengeance.

The Biblical commandment “Thou shall not kill,” applies to the innocent as well as the guilty, he argued.


World poets attending the India World Poetry Festival, meanwhile, aired their call for international peace and universal understanding.

“Yes to peace, love, healing, and unity for all colors, all races,” declared PENTASI B co-hosts Dr. “Penpen” Epitacio Tongohan, father of visual poetry from the Philippines, and Dr. L Sr Prasad, India’s poet laureate and literary genius.


“No to war, terrorism, violence, and senseless killings,” other world poets said in their winning works and poetry readings.

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  • Dudley Sharp


    All Catholics May Support The Death Penalty

    “There is a very robust debate countering both the Church’s 20 year old anti death penalty teachings (CCC, amended 1997) and the statements by Pope Francis, both of which are contradicted by fact, reason, the Gospel and 2000 years of Catholic teachings, through today”, as detailed.

    All Catholics May Support The Death Penalty

  • Nate Crandall

    “Now it is manifest that the Roman pontiffs, with their adherents, defend godless doctrines. And the marks of Antichrist plainly agree with the kingdom of the pope and his adherents. For Paul, in describing the Antichrist to the Thessalonians, calls him an adversary of Christ, ‘who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God’ (2 Thess. 2:4). He speaks therefore on one ruling in the church, not of heathen kings; and he calls this one the adversary of Christ because he will assume to himself divine authority. The pope does not want to be judged by the church or by anyone, and puts his own authority ahead of the decision of councils and the entire church. But to be unwilling to be judged by the church or by anyone is to make oneself God. This being the case, all Christians ought to desert and execrate the pope and his adherents as the kingdom of Antichrist.”
    (Kenneth Lohr, “A Refutation of the ELCA Social Statement on the Death Penalty,” page 9, note 26)

  • Nate Crandall

    “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed.” (Genesis 9:6)

    “Anyone who takes another person’s life must be put to death…. Anyone who injures another person must be dealt with according to the injury inflicted–a fracture for a fracture, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Whatever anyone does to injure another person must be paid back in kind.” (Leviticus 24:17-20)

    “You shall not accept indemnity in place of the life of a murderer who deserves the death penalty; he must be put to death.” (Numbers 35:31)

    • Nate Crandall

      “Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” (Romans 13:3-4)

      “It is another part of the office of magistrates, that they ought forcibly to repress the waywardness of evil men, who do not willingly suffer themselves to be governed by laws, and to inflict such punishment on their offenses as God’s judgment requires; for [St. Paul] expressly declares that they are armed with the sword, not for an empty show, but that they may smite evil-doers.” (John Calvin, COMMENTARY ON ROMANS)