Today's Punto
Today's Punto
Upholding the Gospel of Life

Feb 28, 2017

THE GOSPEL of the Lord Jesus Christ is the Gospel of Life. It is this Gospel that we must preach. It is this Gospel that we must uphold.

Therefore, we the Catholic faithful of the Archdiocese of San Fernando, Pampanga , in solidarity with the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, oppose moves to return the death penalty in the Philippine Judicial System and condemn all forms of killings, most especially the recent wave of murders in the campaign against illegal drugs.

The life of every person comes from God. It is He who gives it, and it is He alone who can take it back. Not even the government has a right to kill life because it is only God’s steward and not the owner of life.

No person is ever beyond redemption. God is merciful. He offered His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, so that by His own life, He redeems the sinners and gives them a new life. Consequently, we have no right to give up on any person even if the crime committed is heinous.

We cannot correct a wrong by doing another wrong. A good purpose is not a justification for using evil means. It is good to remove the drug problem, but to kill in order to achieve this is also wrong.

When we condemn violence, we cannot ourselves be its perpetrators, and when we decry murder, we cannot ourselves participate in murder, no matter that it may be accompanied by the trappings of judicial and legal process.

Throughout the world, there is no scientific proof that shows that death penalty is a deterrent to criminal behavior. Executions serve only to satisfy the urge for vengeance. Its retributive value is sortlived, lasting only until the next crime.

The deep root of the drug problem and criminality is the poverty of the majority, the destruction of the family and corruption in society.

As a community of disciples and apostles, we continue to journey with the Church of the Poor. We shall take steps to overcome poverty especially through the giving of permanent work and sufficient wages to workers, strengthen and carry forward the unity and love of the family members, and support moves to eradicate corruption in all levels of government. We will help drug addicts so that they may be healed and start a new life.

We will stand in solidarity and care for those left behind by those who have been killed and for the victims of the drug addicts.

We challenge our government to ensure effective enforcement of the law, and the establishment of a truly just judicial system for the common good of our people.

(Manifesto of the Archdiocese of San Fernando issued at the Pampanga Walks for Life assembly on Feb 25, 2017)

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