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The Catholic Bishops' Conference in Sri Lanka has declared that in the light of the Gospel the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person, and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.

Catholic Bishops' conference in a statement issued says:

"We the Members of the Catholic Bishops' Conference in Sri Lanka wish to make the following statement with regard to the issue of the Death Penalty. The supreme Pontiff Holy Father Francis has approved a new revision of number 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. We wish to reiterate the following teaching given by the Universal Shepherd on this matter.

"Recourse to the death Penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following fair trial was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good,"

"Today however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the State. Lastly, more effective systems have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption".

Consequently the Church teaches in the light of the Gospel that the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person, and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide."

Pope Francis calls drugs "a new form of slavery, a new wound in our society, a venom that corrodes, corrupts and kills and this evil must be fought; must be expelled. It must be told no."

Therefore, we earnestly call urgent attention of family, education system, institutions, religious leaders, politicians and support of the civil society, International organizations, NGOs and INGOs and finally the Legislative, Judiciary and the Executive to take preventative and curative measures and design effective rehabilitation of victims with a supportive social system.
The recent incidents of those convicted continuing to indulge in drug dealing from within the precincts of the prisons themselves, should be prevented at all costs. Stringent security measures are to be taken in this regard."

The statement bears the signatures of the following:-

Rev. D. J. Winston S. Fernando, S.S.S. President, Catholic Bishops' Conference in Sri Lanka. Bishop of Badulla, Rev. Dr. Joseph Ponniah Vice President, Catholic Bishops' Conference in Sri Lanka. Bishop of Batticaloa, Rev. Dr. D. Valence Mendis Secretary General, Catholic Bishops' Conference in Sri Lanka. Bishop of Chilaw, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith Archbishop of Colombo, Rev. Dr. J. Vianney Fernando Bishop of Kandy, Rev. Dr. Harold A. Perera Bishop of Kurunegala, Rev. Dr. Norbert M. Andradi, O.M.I. Bishop of Anuradhapura, Rev. Cletus C. Perera, O.S.B. Bishop of Ratnapura, Rev. Dr. Raymond K. Wickramasinghe Bishop of Galle, Rev. Dr. Noel C. Emmanuel Bishop of Trincomalee, Rev. Dr. Justin Bernard Gnanapragasam Bishop of Jaffna, Rev. Dr. F. L. Emmanuel Fernando Bishop of Mannar, Rev. Dr. Maxwell G. Silva Auxiliary Bishop of Colombo and Rev. Dr. J. D. Anthony Auxiliary Bishop of Colombo.

 

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