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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Philippine cardinal: Tell legislators death penalty does not deter crime

A Philippine cardinal has urged the faithful of his country to tell their lawmakers that the death penalty does not deter violent crime, could potentially legitimise violence and that life is a gift from God.

In a letter addressed to Catholics of the Manila Archdiocese as the Philippine Congress was discussing revival of the death penalty, Manila Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle referred to what research worldwide has shown.

“The death penalty has not reduced crime because it does not solve criminality from its roots,” he said. “To help solve these roots of criminality, the Church and the state need to protect and strengthen the basic unit of society, which is the family.”

The cardinal said the roots of crime include the loss of moral values, injustice, inequality and poverty among numerous other factors.

Throughout its history, the Philippines has imposed and suspended the death penalty, and the Church has consistently opposed it. A 2006 law prohibits imposition of the death penalty, but since President Rodrigo Duterte took office at the end of June, his allies in Congress have been pushing for reinstating it.

Picture: A Philippine crime scene investigator inspects a gun used in a 2016 murder in Novaliches. A Philippine cardinal has urged the faithful of his country to tell their lawmakers that the death penalty does not deter violent crime, could potentially legitimise violence and that life is a gift from God. (CNS photo/Mark A. Cristino, EPA).