Christian beliefs lead to opposition to death penalty, patriarch says – Crux Now
ROME — Opposition to the death penalty is the “logical and moral consequence” of recognizing the dignity of all human life and of believing that each person deserves the possibility to repent of his or her sins and crimes, said Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.
While in Rome for a prayer meeting for peace with Pope Francis, the Orthodox patriarch spoke to Vatican News Oct. 20 about his reading of Pope Francis’ recent encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, on Fraternity and Social Friendship.
“We completely agree with the call-challenge of His Holiness to abandon the indifference or even cynicism that governs our ecological, political, economic and social life in general,” the patriarch said. Instead, people must work to fulfill the dream of “our world as a united human family in which we are all brothers and sisters without exception.”
The patriarch said that when he heard the pope was writing the encyclical, he expected it would be a further sign of Pope Francis’s “unshakable interest” in human beings, created and beloved by God, and that, inspired by Christian tradition, it would include concrete suggestions for living out the obligation to love others, especially the poor and needy.
“Our expectations were fully met,” he said. The document “is not simply a compendium or summary of previous encyclicals or other texts of Pope Francis, but the crowning and happy conclusion of all social doctrine.”
“Love, openness to the other and the culture of solidarity” are key Christian principles, he said, and they are the values the encyclical