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

Bishop opposes death sentence for man convicted of killing churchgoers

Jurors unanimously agreed to sentence Dylann Roof to death for killing nine black churchgoers.

In closing statements before the deliberation on 10th January, the unrepentant 22-year-old told jurors that “I still feel like I had to do it,” the Associated Press reported.

Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone said in a statement that the Catholic Church opposes capital punishment and reminded people that all life is sacred.

“We are all sinners, but through the father’s loving mercy and Jesus’ redeeming sacrifice upon the cross, we have been offered the gift of eternal life. The Catholic opposition to the death penalty, therefore, is rooted in God’s mercy. The Church believes the right to life is paramount to every other right as it affords the opportunity for conversion, even of the hardened sinner,” Bishop Guglielmone said.

Picture: Police lead suspected shooter Dylann Roof into the courthouse in 2015 in Shelby, N.C. Jurors unanimously agreed to sentence Roof to death for killing nine black churchgoers in 2015 at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. (CNS photo/Jason Miczek, Reuters).