Sydney (Agenzia Fides) - The Bishops of Australia are opposed to death penalty and have asked to abolish it throughout the world, making themselves available to contribute effectively to this goal: as Fides learns, this is the appeal launched by the Episcopal Conference at the Australian Parliament. Recalling the firm opposition of the Church to death penalty, and that Catholics are "unconditionally pro-life", the Bishops stress that human dignity is a fundamental principle of the Catholic social doctrine.
"Every human being has full dignity because we are all created in the image of God", they claim. The Church opposes to death penalty because "it is cruel and deprives a person of God's mercy", eliminating the possibility "to repent and find peace with God and with others". It is not "a useful deterrent". The Australian Bishops look to the Holy See so that it carries out an international role in this work of awareness in international forums. But they also consider "the opportunities for Australian Bishops to work with the confreres of other episcopal Conferences and through the global network of the Church to implement a broader strategy".
Death penalty is in force in Australia, and the Bishops have often asked for clemency for those condemned by carrying out prayer vigils for the respect of life. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 27/11/2015)