CBCP office launches death penalty sourcebook

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Rodolfo Diamante of the bishops' Commission on Prison Pastoral Care holds a copy of the Church's sourcebook on death penalty and restorative justice during a book launch at the CBCP headquarters in Manila, Aug. 15, 2016.

MANILA, Aug. 18, 2016— The bishops’ prison ministry has released a book on capital punishment and restorative justice to help push its stand against death penalty.

“Affirm an option for life” is an 88-page sourcebook on basic information, issues, and standpoints pertinent to death penalty as well as to “justice that heals.”

Rodolfo Diamante, executive secretary of the bishops’ Commission on Prison Pastoral Care, said the book aims to “educate the public” about the death penalty.

“We are once more challenged to intensify once more our educational campaign on the issue of life,” he said.

“There is a movement going on to revive the death penalty and we think that this book could help explain why the revival of death penalty shouldn’t continue.”

The book was launched before a concelebrated Mass held at the CBCP chapel in Intramuros, Manila on Monday, Aug. 15.

Initially, the CBCP office printed 3,000 copies that will be distributed to the Office of the President, to lawmakers from both houses of Congress, and to the public.

This is the second time the Church released a book on the death penalty. The first one was published in 1996 when a law was passed prescribing death by lethal injection for offenders convicted of heinous crimes.

Diamante is hopeful the book, which also features various pronouncements of Pope Francis for better treatment of prisoners, would help fight the “culture of killing” in the country.

He also challenged those involved in prison ministry to help bring the campaign against death penalty to the local level “by holding forums or summit for life.” (Ysabel Hidalgo / CBCPNews) 

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