On September 25, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States and Head of the Delegation of the Holy See to the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, gave an intervention during the High Level Side Event entitled “Death Penalty: Poverty and the Right to Legal Representation,” organized by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Permanent Missions of Italy, Brazil, Burkina Faso, France and Timor Leste.
In his statement, Archbishop Gallagher said, together with an increasing number of States, the Holy See supports the UN’s sponsorship for the abolition of the death penalty. In the past century, he summarized, the Holy See has consistently sought the abolition of the death penalty considering the practical circumstances found in most States that means other than the death penalty are sufficient to defend human lives and protect public order and safety. The primacy of human life and the dignity of the human person must guide the legislative and judicial practice of State authority, he said, highlighting the recent revision of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraph 2267). He said that the universal abolition of the death penalty would be a courageous reaffirmation of the capacity to deal with crime by bloodless means and of the refusal to succumb to despair before evil acts.
His statement can be found here.