TO KILL or not to kill, that is the question. Or precisely, those were the reactions of some netizens who were disgusted with the tarp in front of the San Sebastian Cathedral that was featured in SunStar Bacolod’s Facebook account.
“Death Penalty? No, no, no sa Berdugo! Yes, yes, yes sa kay Kristo,” says the tarp.
These Facebookers said they don’t feel like going to church anymore because the homily is more about politics, and not about the gospel of God.
Should death penalty be banned from homilies – and to anything Christian – a kind of give to Caesar what is to Caesar, and to God, God’s?
Anyone who is familiar with the Faith will have to accept the fact that the Church upholds the sanctity of life. Should the Diocese of Bacolod refrain or even excise the Six Commandment: “Thou shalt not kill?” (Exodus 20:13) Unthinkable.
No, Fr. Pasquin is right. Being anti-death penalty isn’t about partisan politics, like siding with a yellow, red, green or whatever political color, but that the “church has no proper mission in politics.” It means going back to the “mission entrusted by the Lord Jesus Christ. It's the salvation of the whole man, body and soul.” And by salvation, he said it includes all levels of the society, cultural, economic, and political.
Christians must embrace, if they’re to be Christians at all, Luke 15:11-32, the parable of the prodigal son, and that of the forgiving Father.
This is NOT politics, but Christian values of love, mercy, forgiveness and compassion toward our wayward brothers and sisters who are accused or convicted of criminal wrongdoing, including the perpetrators of extra-judicial killings.
Love the criminals, condemn the crime. Promote love, mercy and compassion, but of justice too. Our Father God is after a God of justice.
For Christians, it’s the acceptance of the Hebrew “shalom” for “justice” and “peace.” Shalom includes “wholeness,” or everything that makes for people’s well-being, security, and the restoration of relationships that have been broken.
Justice, therefore, is not state-sponsored eye and eye justice but about repairing broken relationships both with other people and to structures – of courts and punishments, money and economics, land and resources, and political leaders.
In other words, it’s the mission of every Christian, consecrated or lay, to promote Christian justice in the pulpit – and outside of it. Work is not about partisan politics – but of evangelization, of loving those who were lost.