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Commission To Hand Over Death Penalty Petitions in Prayer Service

Media Release

Commission To Hand Over Death Penalty Petitions in Prayer Service

Brisbane’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission will deliver a death penalty abolition petition to Queensland Senator Claire Moore next Tuesday 1 July at a prayer service at Holy Cross Catholic Church, Wooloowin.

The petition has been signed by over 2000 people from parishes in the Archdiocese and from around the country.

Senator Moore will lodge the petition in the Senate at its next sitting and will seek to speak to the issue on that day.

The Commission’s Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, said that it was important for Catholics to continue their participation in efforts to abolish capital punishment in Indonesia and around the world.

“For those who have made a commitment to this cause, it is important to remain active in the long term,” Mr Arndt said.

“The continuing use of the death penalty around the world invites Catholics to commit to solidarity with those whose human dignity is threatened by the prospect of the death penalty being imposed and carried out,” he said.

“Solidarity is one of the four universal principles of Catholic Social Doctrine and is something which the Gospel calls us to put into practice when we see the dignity of our fellow human beings being abused,” he said.

“Solidarity is about standing with those who face the indignity of poverty or injustice and doing this in the long term,” he said.

“It also means being prepared to face unpleasant consequences as a result of this commitment,” he said.

“There are some people who strongly disagree with our opposition to the use of the death penalty in cases like those of the Bali Bombers and that of the three Australians convicted of drug offences in Bali,” he said.

“All these six men have committed very serious offences and, in fact, have been responsible for the deaths or suffering and misery of many other people,” he said.

“But the Church must defend the value of human life if it is to be faithful to the Gospel,” he said.

“Revenge and retribution cannot be in the vocabulary of Christians who follow the example of Jesus,” he said.

“Those who have done serious wrong must face serious consequences, but this should not include death at the hands of the State,” he said.

“The Commission will continue to offer opportunities for more action on the death penalty and especially at the time when our petition is lodged in the Senate,” he said.

“We have had contact with members of the cross-Party parliamentary Working Group working on the death penalty and they are very keen to support our efforts,” he added.

The Commission’s death penalty prayer service will begin at 7.30 p.m. at Holy Cross Church, 28 Chalk Street, Wooloowin. All are welcome.

For further information, please contact Peter Arndt on (07) 3336 9173 or 0409 265 476.

NB This release is issued with the approval of the Commission or its Executive under the provision of its Charter which enables it to speak in its own right. The views expressed in it do not necessarily represent the views of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.