2014-10-28 16:32:00

Philippines: Catholic Church opposes revival of death penalty

“The stance against the death penalty is in no way a posture to let criminal offenders go scot-free. The CBCP-ECPPC believes in Justice and it is ranked high in its hierarchy of values. Those who have transgressed the laws of the land should be held answerable and accountable after a fair trial; otherwise, they become effective endorsers of crime and criminal actions, and strong parody for the ethical adage that ‘crime does not pay,’’ the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care (ECPPC) said in a statement.

The ECPPC reiterated its opposition to the re-imposition of death penalty during the 27th Prison Awareness Week observed last Oct. 20 to 26.  “…Taking away the life of someone, whom we have condemned, immobilized and rendered helpless with contraptions of death is a horrible lesson to teach our children, that human life is as disposable as any contraptions and trimmings of postmodern life,” the Episcopal Commission added.

Death penalty—whether on the cross, at the gallows, in the gas chamber or on the electric chair—has also failed to deter others from committing even the most heinous of crimes, according to the ECPPC. The Commission then called on supporters of the death penalty to consider alternatives to capital punishment.

“Rather than take away precious human life, the Church wants to explore alternatives to mete out justice. For one, it seriously considers—and vigorously advocates—a shift in the paradigm of justice: from litigation to mediation; prosecution to healing; punishment to reform and rehabilitation: from the retributive to the restorative,” the ECPPC added.

For his part, ECPPC chairman Bishop Leopoldo Tumulak urged the faithful to love the least, the last and the lost—the prisoners.

“As we celebrate the 27th Prison Awareness Week, the Church urges us to look at the prisoners as our neighbors. We are challenge to show them mercy and love them so that they may become whole again. Let us pray that we may say YES to this challenge,” Tumulak said.


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