Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Worldwide justice ministers meet in Rome to discuss abolition of death penalty

November 28, 2012. ( Representatives from two dozen countries, including several justice ministers, met in Rome to discuss progress on the abolition of the death penalty during a conference organized by the Catholic group Community of St. Egidio. The event marks the tenth anniversary of the “Cities for Life” Campaign. A movement that aims to abolish capital punishment and raise public awareness on the issue.

President, Community of Saint Egidio
“The number of death sentences has luckily diminished throughout the world. But the numbers are still too high, 5,000 executions in 2011. This type of justice does not work because it does not give life.”

The organizer, the Community of St. Egidio, is an ecumenical group recognized by the Catholic Church as a public lay association. They promote dialogue as a way to build peace, and also act as  mediators in international conflicts.

So far, 23 countries around the globe have abolished the death penalty. The group is convinced that, with support from the Vatican, that number will grow.

President, Community of Saint Egidio
“We work in complete collaboration with the Catholic Church, because this is a battle for life, and not for death. And although there are other battles for life, we feel we have the Church on our side, especially the Pope's word.”

One of the main goals of the conference is to convince other countries to sign on to a moratorium against capital punishment at the United Nations.

So far, the Community of Saint Egidio has partnered up with individual cities to show its support for life. Precisely to show support and unity, on November 30, over 1500 communities throughout the globe will light up their most famous landmarks.

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