Archbishop says saving Bali 9 requires consistent opposition to death penalty

Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby has said that sparing the Bali 9 drug runners on death row will only occur if Australia's opposition to the death penalty is consistent.

Speaking at the launch of a paper on death penalty yesterday, he strongly urged the Federal Government to vigorously oppose the death penalty in all cases, not just for Australians on death row overseas.

The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council discussion paper was launched at the parish of the parents of convicted Bali nine drug smuggler Scott Rush.

Archbishop Bathersby said that Australia's failure to speak out against capital punishment weakens the case to save Australians facing execution.

"Capital punishment is an affront, even in the case of terrorists," Archbishop Bathersby said.

"No evil can justify the death penalty as a punishment, no matter how horrible the crime that may have been committed," he said.

Scott Rush's parents, who attended the launch at St Joseph's Catholic Church at Corinda, said they draw strength from the church's strong stance against the death penalty.

"It's extremely helpful for our cause to save Scott's life and those of the other Australian boys that are over there in Indonesia," Lee Rush said.

"We remain hopeful Scott's life will be spared.

"It's going to be a hard road, but it's working," he said.

Executing terrorists is just wrong (News.Com, 21/10/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Australian Catholic Social Justice Council
Bali Nine (Wikipedia)
Scott Rush (Wikipedia)
Bali Nine campaign (Network Against Prohibition)

Bishop says opposition to death penalty must be total (CathNews 20/12/07)
Priest calls for clemency for Bali Nine death sentences (CathNews 7/9/06)
Priest pleased Rush won't appeal (CathNews 8/3/06)
Priest holds hope for drug mule Rush (CathNews 17/2/06)
Demonstrators call for execution of Indonesian Catholics (CathNews 5/9/06)
Fate of Bali bombers raises hope for three condemned Indonesian Catholics (CathNews 22/8/06)
Miracle last hour stay of execution for death row Indonesians (CathNews 14/8/06)
Thousands rally to save death row Catholics in Indonesia (CathNews 11/8/06)
Indonesian Catholics to face firing squad on Saturday (CathNews 10/8/06)

21 Dec 2007