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Pope Francis calls for “global abolition” during address to Congress

As a part of his historic tour of the United States, Pope Francis addressed Congress on Thursday, September 24. Anti-death penalty activists across the country hoped he would use his time in front of Congress to discuss ending the death penalty. Citing the Golden Rule, Pope Francis expressed his belief and support in abolition:

“This conviction has led me, from the beginning of my ministry, to advocate at different levels for the global abolition of the death penalty. I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes.”

He went on to express his support of the renewal of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Campaign to End the Use of the Death Penalty, which celebrated its tenth anniversary on July 16:

“Recently my brother bishops here in the United States renewed their call for the abolition of the death penalty. Not only do I support them, but I also offer encouragement to all those who are convinced that a just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.”

This is not the first time Pope Francis called for abolition. Earlier this year, he made his view on the death penalty very clear in his letter to the President of the International Commission against the death penalty, “[t]oday the death penalty is inadmissible, no matter how serious the crime committed…[i]t does not render justice to the victims, but rather fosters vengeance.”

Please visit the following links for more coverage of Pope Francis’ statement: