CFC-FFL Position Against the Re-imposition of the Death Penalty

As of March 2017

In line with our vision and mission of renewing the family and defending life, we stand alongside with our Mother Church, in condemning the passage of House Bill 4727, the Death Penalty Law1, in the lower house of Congress.

As an evangelistic and missionary community, we are tasked with renewing the family and defending life. Enshrined in our identity is the primordial duty to defend life in all its forms2.  Further, to defend, preserve, strengthen, renew and celebrate faith, family and life. The imposition of the Death Penalty wreak havoc on our identity and mission. We point to the crucial need for evangelization and transformation in Christ, as the ultimate antidote to criminality.

It goes against our Core Value of Living a Preferential Option for the Poor3. Based on statistical evidence, the death penalty tilts more against the poor. There is real and apparent danger in convicting the innocent. Our imperfect criminal justice system can put to death innocent persons. It is cruel and inhuman. We intensify our work for helping uplift the lives of the poor through various moral and life-giving material interventions.

House Bill 4727, repeals the existing laws on Life Imprisonment or Reclusion Perpetua. Life Imprisonment renders the offender, the chance to renew his life in keeping with the teachings of the Catholic Church4 on the role of the State with regards to criminal offense vis-a-vis law and order, with a duty to redress the disorder due to the offense. Death Penalty nullifies any hope to renew the criminal’s life, more so for the State to redress the disorder in a humane way.

In conclusion, the passage of House Bill 4727, the Death Penalty Law, in the Lower House of Congress, defies who we are and what we do in CFC-FFL.  We pledge to a deeper commitment to work on renewing the family across all sectors of society and work for the defense of life, in all its stages and forms.

1 AN ACT IMPOSING THE DEATH PENALTY ON CERTAIN HEINOUS CRIMES, REPEALING FOR THE PURPOSE. REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9346, ENTITLED “AN ACT PROHIBITING THE IMPOSITION OF DEATH PENALTY IN THE PHILIPPINES”, AND FURTHER AMENDING ACT NO. 3815, AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS “THE REVISED PENAL CODE”, AND REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9165, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE “COMPREHENSIVE DANGEROUS DRUGS ACT OF 2002”

2 We are called to defend life. The fight of this third millennium is all about the culture of death, which the anti-life, anti-family, radical homosexuals’ forces are imposing on society and the world. This is the final assault of the evil one, who wages all-out war on the Author of life. We have been thrust into this savage conflict, and we are to give our all in defending and promoting the culture of life. (CFC-FFL Document on Who We Are and What We Do)

3 We recognize Jesus’ mission to bring glad tidings to the poor (Lk 4:18). We look to both the spiritual and material upliftment of the least among our brethren. In doing so, we will be in solidarity with the poor by striving to live a simple lifestyle, to share our resources, and to fight for social justice in the world. (CFC-FFL Document on Core Values)

4 Catechism of the Catholic Church 2266 The State effort to contain the spread of behaviors injurious to human rights and the fundamental rules of civil coexistence corresponds to the requirement of watching over the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime. The primary scope of the penalty is to redress the disorder caused by the offense. When his punishment is voluntarily accepted by the offender, it takes on the value of expiation. Moreover, punishment, in addition to preserving public order and the safety of persons, has a medicinal scope: as far as possible it should contribute to the correction of the offender.

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