Pope Francis Urging End to Capital Punishment in Texas

posted by 1200 WOAI - 

In an about-face, Pope Francis is calling on Texas to abolish the death penalty, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

The head of the Roman Catholic Church, this week, announced that the death penalty should be off the table in all cases.

"It is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person,” according to a statement from the Vatican.

Previously, the church supported capital punishment in cases where it was "the only practicable way to defend the lives of human beings effectively against the aggressor."

Father Leo Perez at San Antonio's Oblate School of Theology says the move is consistent with Pope Francis's preaching about redemption.

"When people are in prison, they have an opportunity to embrace salvation," he explains.He says the Pope believes that, in modern countries, it's possible to protect innocent life if we have secure prisons."

He believes that capital punishment is more about vengeance than about protection.

"This is far from the first time Pope Francis has spoken out against capital punishment.  In 2015, he addressed Congress."

"The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development. This conviction has led me, from the beginning of my ministry, to advocate at different levels for the global abolition of the death penalty,"   he said at the time.  "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."

IMAGE; GETTY

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