Pope Benedict encourages anti-death penalty initiatives

By staff writers
1 Dec 2011

Pope Benedict has given a word of encouragement to those seeking the abolition of the death penalty worldwide, following his general audience at St Peter's Rome on 30 November 2011.

The leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics was speaking in English to delegations from a number of countries participating in a meeting being promoted by the Sant'Egidio Community on the theme 'No Justice without Life'.

The event coincided with 'Cities for Life', the worldwide anti-capital punishment day inspired by the action of Peter Leopold Joseph of Habsburg-Lorraine, Grand Duke of Tuscany, who in 1786 promulgated a reform making his country the first state to abolish the death penalty.

Pope Benedict said said: "I express my hope that your deliberations will encourage the political and legislative initiatives being promoted in a growing number of countries to eliminate the death penalty and to continue the substantive progress made in conforming penal law both to the human dignity of prisoners and the effective maintenance of public order".

[Ekk/3]

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