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October 12 2010 | VATICANO, COLOMBIA

Vatican City

Fr. Lombardi: I don't want the death penalty for anyone

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ZENIT - News Agency

Aide: I Don't Want the Death Penalty for Anyone

Spokesman Reflects on Church's Stance on Punishment

ROME - The director of the Vatican press office says he is against recourse to the death penalty, and wants capital punishment for no one anywhere in the world.

This was the affirmation made by Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, as he offered his personal reflection on the Church's opposition to current recourse to capital punishment.

"I don't want it in China, or in Iran, or in the United States, or in India, or in Indonesia or in Saudi Arabia -- nowhere in the world," he asserted during the most recent episode of Vatican Television's "Octava Dies."

"I don't want it by stoning, or by shooting, or by decapitation, or by hanging, or by the electric chair, or by lethal injection," he continued. "I don't want it painful or painless. I don't want it in public or in secret.

"I don't want it for women, or for men; for the handicapped or for the healthy. I don't want it for civilians or military men, I don't want it in peace or in war. I don't want it for someone who might be innocent, but I don't want it for confessed criminals either. I don't want it for homosexuals. I don't want it for adulterers. I don't want it for anyone."

"I don't even want it for murderers, for the Mafiosi, for traitors or for tyrants," Father Lombardi added. "I don't want it out of vengeance, or to free ourselves from troublesome and expensive prisoners, not even for alleged mercy."

"Because," he said, "I seek a greater justice. And it is good to walk on this path to increasingly affirm, in favor of everyone, the dignity of the person and of human life, of which we are not the ones to dispose."

The Vatican spokesman referenced the Catechism of the Catholic Church, saying that cases in which the death penalty is the only means to protect human lives and public order are practically non-existent.

"Let us make [the cases] non-existent," he said. "It's better."

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