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Vatican official: ‘no room for supporting the death penalty in today's world’

October 03, 2011

“There is no room for supporting the death penalty in today’s world,” according to Tommaso Di Ruzza, one of 13 officials who work under the president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

“By killing the just or the unjust without understanding that they have dignity, we will find ourselves after 2,000 years in the same courtyard shouting, ‘Kill him!’ like they did with Jesus,” said Di Ruzza, a desk officer at the pontifical council.


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  • Posted by: Erik George - Oct. 04, 2011 4:41 PM ET USA

    I hope I am wrong in perceiving that this development in doctrine reflects a worldly and modern aversion to punitive justice, for if this were so the doctrine of eternal punishment in Hell would seem to be up next on the chopping block. While earthly lives can be preserved by declaring punitive justice impersible in this life, eternal lives can only be lost by denying its existence in the spiritual realm. This is an apparent contradiction that needs urgent resolution.

  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Oct. 03, 2011 9:54 PM ET USA

    Question I wish I could ask Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict: if innocent human life is precious and irreplaceable, why does its unjust taking by a criminal not demand the forfeiture of the criminal's own life? Perhaps another reader will explain it to me.