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We are so pleased that you could join us for the Symposium on the Dignity of the individual and the Death Penalty, held at Good Shepherd Church on February 19th and 20th, 2016.
Respect for life from conception to natural death is at the core of Catholic Social Teaching. The issue of the death penalty is particularly relevant at a time when Florida is accelerating its executions and when Pope Francis has proclaimed the Year of Mercy, where we are called to remember that although justice and accountability are critical, human life is sacred. A life in prison is preferable to putting another person to death, since there can be no exoneration for those who are already dead.
Support for the death penalty often comes in response to people's cries for vengeance. But we must get beyond revenge. Experience has shown that executions bring little comfort to survivors. That doesn't come until forgiveness has been given. Several of our speakers will address this from their own experience.
I hope that this Symposium will be fruitful for all who view, inspiring more thoughtful, prayerful dialogue in our community. I thank the Mercy and Justice Core Committee for coordinating this event, and all those that made it possible.
Fr. Michael Foley