Bishop welcomes decline of death sentences and executions

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The lead Bishop for International Affairs, Bishop Declan Lang, has welcomed the decline of the death penalty across the world and called on Catholics to help “make this the generation that ends capital punishment for good.”

Statistics released last week show that the number of recorded death sentences and executions fell in 2017, while the total number of countries to abolish the death penalty – in law or practice – rose to 142.

More than 900 people were executed across 23 countries.

Bishop Declan Lang responded:

“Pope Francis reminded us last year that the death penalty is an inhumane measure and contrary to the Gospel. We are closer than ever to achieving global abolition and should redouble our efforts to make this the generation that ends capital punishment for good.”

Calling for action from the UK he stated:

“I urge our government to use every opportunity including diplomacy, trade negotiations, and forthcoming discussions with our Commonwealth partners, to continue pushing for abolition of the death penalty wherever it still exits. I hope our Catholic community will also play its part through prayer and advocacy for those facing this ultimate attack on human dignity.”

Pope Francis focused on the death penalty in an address to participants in the meeting promoted by the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization. Synod Hall, Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Image: Bishop Declan meeting Lord Ahmad (Foreign Office Human Rights Minister) to discuss the death penalty in 2017