Posted at Dec 11 2016 03:44 PM
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MANILA - As President Rodrigo Duterte's allies in Congress push for the reinstatement of capital punishment, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle on Sunday urged the public to help those who have sinned, instead of "eliminating" them.
Speaking at an Advent recollection in Cubao, Quezon City, Tagle cited the kindness of Jesus Christ that led Zacchadeus, a corrupt tax collector, to give half his wealth to the poor and repay anyone he had cheated fourfold. Like Jesus, Tagle said the public must "not eliminate those who seem to be impure but give them hope and offer of new life."
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila earlier released a prayer which aims to combat the reimposition of death penalty in the country.
"Help us to work tirelessly against state-sanctioned death and to renew society in truth, justice, love and respect so that violence will cease and peace may prevail," reads the "Prayer Against the Death Penalty."
Priests were encouraged to include the prayer in the Mass either after the post-communion prayer or as part of the Prayer of the Faithful during the entire Christmas season.
The Catholic Church has remained firm against the imposition of death penalty, arguing that it goes against the Christian faith. Last Wednesday, voting 12-6-1, the House justice committee approved the committee report of a substitute bill restoring the death penalty.
It proposes three modes of execution: hanging, firing squad, or lethal injection. The revival of death penalty in the country was a campaign promise of President Duterte.