Archbishop: Jesus, Rizal, Bonifacio innocent victims of death penalty
Lingayen Archbishop Socrates Villegas on Monday illustrated the Catholic position on death penalty by using examples of Jesus Christ and Filipino heroes Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio.
“The Lord, Jesus Christ, died because of death penalty. He was crucified,” Villegas said during an Inquirer Multimedia forum in Makati.
“Jose Rizal died because of death penalty. Andres Bonifacio died because of death penalty. All three died [despite] being innocent,” he said.
“There are so many people who were killed by death penalty despite being innocent,” Villegas said.
Villegas was initially asked to comment on Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao’s position that the Bible justifies the death penalty but the archbishop pointed out that the boxer-turned-politician is no longer Catholic.
“As a Catholic bishop I say I respect his opinion coming from a different church. I cannot judge him using Catholic standards,” he said.
However, the archbishop argued that “Jesus died on the cross voluntarily accepting death, he accepted death so there would no longer be deaths like that… so there would be no more deaths from injustice.”
“And yet the dyings, the killings continue. It is not because the crucifixion is impotent, it is because we have not taken the lessons of Jesus to heart,” he said. RAM/rga
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