|Declaration of the Chinese Regional Bishopsˇ¦ Conference|
|on the Death Penalty|
April 13, 2010
Throughout her history of two thousand years, the Catholic Church has experienced deeply that for humanity, the termination of life, whether willingly or unwillingly, is infinite loss and sorrow. Thus the death penalty is absolutely not a way of resolving the problem of crime.
One aspect of the mission of the Church is to help the nation and accompany society to respect life and to protect human rights. Although Western countries experienced heavy casualties from two world wars, through the imperceptible influence of Christian faith they finally learned how to forgive and to choose reconciliation. The wounds of hate were mutually healed. Enemies became friends.
Humanism was the principle for legislation and enforcement. Hence these countries have become mature in their support for the development of human rights.
Life is invaluable; everybody has the responsibility to treasure life. In recent years however much loss of life has occurred in Taiwan because of human negligence. One of the key reasons is lack of understanding and reflection on life. Education in the family especially lacks understanding of the meaning of life.
Given the above reasons, the Government should fundamentally remedy the question and not solve violence with violence. The legislature should wholly amend laws so as to manifest social justice and protect dignity of life. At the same time, a system of criminal correction should be established with a logistic package of educational counseling. Let criminal perpetrators repent, understand their responsibility towards the life of their victims, and make the necessary reparation according to law. Furthermore, the Government should be responsible to provide proper compensation and care for the families of victims.
In order to promote social harmony and to maintain a culture of goodness and kindness, the Chinese Catholic Bishopsˇ¦ Conference declares again the abolition of the death penalty, and appeals to everybody to be aware of the dignity and sacredness of life, to protect and treasure it. The Chinese Catholic Bishopsˇ¦ Conference appeals to the Government and the people to consider the abolition of the death penalty, and to stand for suspending execution of the death penalty while awaiting its complete abolition, in order to respect human dignity and the sacredness of life.
The Catholic Church urges the Government, to promote family education and social welfare, to prevent the spread of crime and the taking of life. We hope Taiwan will become a high-principled country, dedicated to the protection of life, walking hand in hand with other Asian nations to fulfill a high ideal of humanism across the globe.