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July 5 2011 | ITALY


J. J. Martinez, exonerated from death row, participated to the vigil organized by the Sant'Egidio Community "The cross of Jesus and the crosses of the poor in the streets of Naples".

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Following a big wooden cross, the people of the Friends of the Poor entered the ancient church of Santa Chiara, which was overcrowded. In the church Joaquin Jose Martinez, a Spanish man who had been sentenced to death in Florida and then was found innocent after three years and released from death row, said: "Jesus was able to overcome, with forgiveness, the grudge towards those who had unjustly accused him.

Jesus said: " Father, forgive them for they do not know  what they do. " Today we are called to humbly and simply repeat the same words and imitate Jesus . Jesus had the strength to ask the Lord to forgive those who were killing. We know that life does not belong to me, or anyone of us, it does not belong to the state or to the governor or anyone else. Human life belongs to God, because it was created by God."


 Suivant la grande croix de bois, le peuple des Amis des pauvres s'est remis en marche vers l'ancienne église Santa Chiara, qui semblait ne pas pouvoir contenir tant de monde. C'est sous ces voûtes qu'ont résonné le paroles de Joaquin Jose Martinez, Américain d'origine hispanique, ancien condamné à mort reconnu innocent après trois années passées dans les couloirs de la mort. Il a su surmonter, avec le pardon, le sentiment de rancœur contre ceux qui l'avaient injustement accusé : « Jésus a dit : “Père, pardonne-leur car ils ne savent pas ce qu'ils font.” Aujourd'hui nous sommes appelés humblement et simplement à répéter les mêmes paroles et à imiter Jésus. Jésus eut la force de demander au Seigneur de pardonner à ceux qui le tuaient. Nous savons que la vie ne m'appartient pas, qu'elle n'appartient à personne d'entre nous, qu'elle n'appartient pas à l'Etat ou au gouverneur, ni à quiconque. La vie humaine appartient à Dieu, car elle a été créée par Dieu ».


October 15 2016

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by Mario Marazziti
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Pope Francis addresses the authorities, the associations, the activists and the civil society gathered in Oslo on the occasion of the World Congress Against the Death Penalty through a video message.
June 21 2016
The 6th Congress Against the Death Penalty opens today in Oslo

The Community of Sant'Egidio takes part in the congress with delegations from Italy, Congo, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Indonesia

1500 attendants coming from over 80 countries. Among them, 20 ministers, 200 diplomats, members of different parliaments, scholars, lawyers, members of various associations and civil society actors
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"The laws are not perfect and judges cannot make mistakes. When you think that laws are perfect, this is the beginning of injustice", said Mgr. Suharyo

Church and civil society against new executions

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The Washington Post

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