All life is sacred, even Dylann Roof’s

Defending innocent human life, such as the pre-born, is one thing. Speaking up for the life of an unrepentant multi-murderer is quite another.

Proclaiming God’s mercy is usually a wonderful Christian duty. Proclaiming it for Dylann Roof takes courage.

Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone of Charlotte had courage in reminding Catholics of church teaching after jurors earlier this month unanimously agreed to sentence Dylann Roof to death for killing nine black churchgoers in his city.

“Sentencing Dylann Roof to death conflicts with the church’s teaching that all human life is sacred, even for those who have committed the most heinous of crimes,” said the bishop in a statement.

“We are all sinners, but through the father’s loving mercy and Jesus’ redeeming sacrifice upon the cross, we have been offered the gift of eternal life,” he continued. “The Catholic opposition to the death penalty, therefore, is rooted in God’s mercy. The church believes the right to life is paramount to every other right as it affords the opportunity for conversion, even of the hardened sinner,” Bishop Guglielmone said.

The way of Jesus can be wonderful. It can be hard. We pray that Dylann Roof embraces Christ’s forgiveness before the state dispatches its justice. — Thomas J. Dermody


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