Priests Condemned Death Sentence To Rechitsa Killer
On the 18th of March Homel region court gave a terrible sentence to a Rechitsa resident. The man who in the August of 2013 raped and murdered a girl will be executed by shooting. The KRYNICA.INFO reporter asked the representatives of different Christian confessions about the Church view on death penalty.
The dean of Minsk Catholic church of Saint Trinity (St. Roch), incumbent press secretary of the Conference of Catholic bushopsof Belarus, priest Yury Sanko:
As a minister of Catholic church I can say that I am totally against capital punishment. According to Law of God, the Lord is the creator of all matter and the human life is the biggest and the most precious gift that must be protected since conception till natural death.
The Lord is responsible for fate of every human, while other people have no moral right to intervene and decide whether he will live or die.
Christ taught us that we should not follow “eye for an eye” principle. The deeds of people must be lead by love – even to those who did evil. Hence, even in the case of utmost barbaric crime the punishment should not be equally cruel.
The comments on the subject of capital punishment are given in the Catholic Church Social Doctrine Compendium. According to the doctrine the modern society is able to fight the crime by methods that neutralize a criminal but not deprive him of possibility of changing his or her life.
Deputy bishop of the United Church of Christians of Evangelic faith in Belarus, rector of CEF Institute of Theology Syarhey Padnyuk:
According to the norms of our creed the adherents of the United Church of Christians of Evangelic faith are against capital punishment. Firstly, because of the possibility of miscarriage of justice, secondly, because nobody has a right to take the life of his or her fellow creature because it had not been gifted by him or her.
Personally, I think that in all society instead of capital punishment another system of serious punishment should be introduced aimed at prevention of certain people violating the God’s Law. For example, it could be a life imprisonment with obligatory work in order to at least partially compensate the evil deed.
In case when the criminal can not be stopped without killing him the use of weapon can be acceptable. For example, it can be actual in preventing the acts of terrorism, when by killing one person dozens of innocent lives will be saved.
The chairman of the Sinodal information department of Belarusian Othodox Church protopriest Sergy Lepin:
At the Archpriest Council of 2000 the “Basics of Russian Orthodox Church social concept” had been adopted, in which a preference of abolition of capital punishment is proclaimed. The document states: “The abolition of capital punishment gives more possibilities for pastoral work with wrong-doers and for their own repentance. It is also evident that capital punishment has not an appropriate educative meaning, makes a miscarriage of justice irremediable, stirs controversial sentiments in people… Mercy to the fallen ones is always more desirable than death”.
The representatives of Belarusain Orthodox Church actively participate in social dialog on the subject of capital punishment and welcome the initiatives aimed at abolishing it or entering the moratorium on execution of death warrants.
“Belarusian Orthodox Church is one the staples of Belarusian society and its activity in protecting human dignity and the value of human life promotes the better understanding of humanitarian values by the society”. Thus wrote the Director on Political Affairs of the Council of Europe Alexander Hessel in his letter of gratitude to Metropolitan Filaret for his position in the dispute of abolition of death punishment that was presented at the “Religion and capital punishment” meeting that took place on the 21st of June of 2013. The European official also mentioned that the opinion expressed by His Eminence “served as a significant stimulus in the development of public discussion on such subject as an abolition of capital punishment”.
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