Uncategorized

Pope Supports End to the Death Penalty

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Pope Benedict XVI gave a special greeting of encouragement to delegations meeting in Rome – including a group from Illinois – to promote the abolition of the death penalty.

During his weekly audience Nov. 30 at the Vatican, Pope Benedict said he hoped the work of the delegations would “encourage political and legislative initiatives being promoted in a number of countries to eliminate the death penalty” and promote progress in penal law that speaks equally to “the human dignity of prisoners and the effective maintenance of public order.”

The 12-person Illinois group, members of the Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, was led by state Rep. Karen Yarbrough. Under Gov. Pat Quinn, Illinois became the 16th state to abolish the death penalty in March.

Following the audience, Yarbrough said that the papal audience represented a capstone to an intense year of efforts that paid off with legislation banning capital punishment in Illinois.

The Nov. 29-30 Rome meeting, sponsored by the Sant’Egidio Community, encouraged people in cities around the world to join a public demonstration of opposition to the death penalty. In Rome, for example, the Colosseum was to be lit up Nov. 30 to show the city’s adherence to the initiative.

Share this article with a friend.