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.