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Italian lay movement continues push for abolition of death penalty

November 29, 2012

The Community of Sant’Egidio, one of the most prominent new ecclesial movements, has continued its efforts to abolish the death penalty worldwide by hosting a conference of justice ministers from 20 nations.

“We have started a method that is not just lobbying,” spokesman Mario Marazziti told Vatican Radio. “It is putting together people from civil societies, NGOs, statesmen and women, and people who can make decisions to make a synergy and to cross-impollinate the good things that each one can give to the other one. So we listen with great respect to the difficulties of the ministers of justice that come from retentionist countries, and we can accompany them to overcome the difficulties they face in their nations, to create this tremendous difference that is made by abolishing the death penalty.”

Andrea Riccardi founded the Community of Sant’Egidio as a high school student in 1968; the community has become known for its service to the needy and work on behalf of peace. Approved by the Pontifical Council for the Laity as an international association of the faithful in 1986, the community over the next two decades grew to 50,000 members in 72 nations.


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