Top Vatican diplomat calls for universal abolition of death penalty
Abolishing the death penalty worldwide would reflect the brave and hope-filled belief that crime can be dealt with without capital punishment and that a criminal should be given the chance to reform, a top Vatican diplomat told world leaders.
“Respect for the dignity of every human person and the common good are the two pillars on which the Holy See has developed its position” of advocating for an end to the death penalty, Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, Vatican foreign minister, said at the United Nations in New York, where he led the Vatican delegation at the 73rd session of the UN general assembly.
Speaking at a high-level UN side event on the death penalty and the role of poverty and the right to legal representation, the archbishop said that the universal abolition would be a “courageous reaffirmation” that humanity can successfully deal with crime while also refusing “to succumb to despair before evil acts, offering the criminal a chance to reform.”
The archbishop cited Pope Francis’ recent revision of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which states that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person” and the Church “works with determination for its abolition worldwide.”Tags: abolition, Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, death penalty, diplomat, New York, Pope, Pope Francis, UN, United Nations, universal, Vatican, worldwide