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Catholic Bishops’ Conference opposes death penalty

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Sri Lanka voiced their opposition to the death penalty.

Issuing a statement in this regard, they noted that Pope Francis has approved a new revision of number 2,267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The revision holds that, “Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following fair trial was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.

Today however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes.

In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the State. Lastly, more effective systems have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens, but at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.

Consequently the Church teaches in the light of the Gospel that the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person, and should work with determination for its abolition worldwide.”

The Conference called on the urgent attention of the families, the education system, institutions, religious leaders, politicians, and the support of the civil society, international organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and International NGOs and finally the legislative, judiciary and the Executive to take preventative and curative measures and design effective rehabilitation of victims with a supportive social system. The recent incidents of those convicted continuing to indulge in drug dealing from within the precincts of the prisons itself, should be prevented at all costs, they noted, adding that stringent security measures should be taken in this regard.

(Ceylon Today)

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