Pope’s prayer intention for September: For the abolition of the death penalty

In his prayer intention for the month of September, Pope Francis calls on all people of good will “to mobilize for the abolition of the death penalty in the world”.

By Vatican News reporter

“Every day there is a growing ‘NO’ to the death penalty in the world,” Pope Francis says in the video released Wednesday announcing his prayer intention for September. “For the Church, it is a sign of hope.

In The Pope Video, produced by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, the Holy Father argues that the death penalty is not “legally” necessary.

He argues that “society can effectively suppress crime without permanently depriving offenders of the opportunity to redeem themselves.”

He adds that there must be “a window of hope” in every court conviction. Capital punishment, he says, “offers no justice to the victims, but rather encourages revenge. And this prevents any possibility of undoing a possible miscarriage of justice.

Always possible to repent

Pope Francis goes on to say that the death penalty is “morally inadmissible” because it destroys life, and insists that “until the very last moment a person can convert and change”.

The Pope further argues that “in the light of the Gospel, the death penalty is unacceptable, since the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ refers to both the innocent and the guilty.”

Pope Francis concludes his message with an appeal to all people of good will to mobilize for the abolition of the death penalty in the world.

“Let us pray that the death penalty, which violates the dignity of the human person, will be legally abolished in all countries.”

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