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Pope Asks Europe to End Death Penalty March 29, 1999

VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Speaking to European lawmakers on Monday, March 29, Pope John Paul II called for the abolition of the death penalty, and the pursuit of "serious" efforts to protect the family. The Holy Father said that he "joins my voice" to those of the European politicians who have asked for an end to capital punishment on the continent. He added that his opposition to the death penalty is based on the need to protect human life at every stage, and to promote the freedom of all people to live "under just and dignified" conditions.

The Pope also said that the European Council should guard family unity, but "guaranteeing the rights of married couples and children." Such policies would pay off, he said, by advancing "social stability." He reminded the parliamentarians that the family is the basic building-block of any human society, and the best means of preparing young people to face the world.