Forgiveness not Vengeance

Published on Nov 12th, 2011 by Austin Keith | 0

Florida Catholic Bishops Say Society Needs Forgiveness Not Vengeance

The Catholic bishops of Florida make the following plea to Governor Rick Scott regarding the scheduled execution of Oba Chandler:The bishops of Florida appeal to you, Governor Scott, to stop the cycle of violence that is fueled by the desire for vengeance and commute the sentence of Oba Chandler, scheduled for execution on Nov. 15, to life in prison without possibility of parole. All of us feel deep sorrow for the horrific loss experienced by the Rogers family who tragically lost Joan, Michelle and Christe in a terrifying killing. Sadly, in ours and a handful of foreign countries, we resort to purposely killing a human being as retribution.

Some crimes are so serious and heinous that many would consider it unjust for the perpetrator to receive any sentence other than death as the ultimate punishment. We join all citizens in crying for justice. But justice can be done without inflicting more killing. The Gospel message of reconciliation requires charity toward all who are our brothers and sisters in Christ no matter the transgression. The death penalty contributes to the devaluation of human life and promotes the culture of death. Forgiveness, not revenge, is the better path to healing for victims and their families.

Justice can be satisfied without taking life as reflected in Chapter 33, verse 11 of the Book of Ezekiel: “As I live says the Lord God, I swear I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, but rather in the wicked man’s conversion, that he may live.” Governor, please keep Oba Chandler in prison for the rest of his life until natural death.
Most Rev. Thomas G. Wenski                              Most Rev. Gerald M. Barbarito
Archdiocese of Miami                                          Diocese of Palm Beach

Most Rev. Robert N. Lynch                                   Most Rev. Frank J. Dewane
Diocese of St. Petersburg                                     Diocese of Venice

Most Rev. John G. Noonan                                   Most Rev. Felipe J. Estévez
Diocese of Orlando                                              Diocese of St. Augustine

Prayer Vigils for the Execution of Oba Chandler
“We cannot teach that killing is wrong by killing.”

Duval County
Tuesday, Nov. 15 from 3:15-4:15 p.m.
Duval County Courthouse, 330 E. Bay Street, Jacksonville
Signs will be provided or bring your own
Contact: Jackie Gunning at (904) 449-3328 or email:

Flagler County
Tuesday, Nov. 15 from 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Flagler County Courthouse, 1769 E. Moody Blvd., Bunnell
Contact: Jackie Morelewicz at (386) 986-3146 or email:

St. Johns County
Tuesday, Nov. 15 from 3:15-4:15 p.m.
St. Augustine Beach City Hall at the corner of A1A and 16th Street
Signs will be provided or bring your own
Contact: Nancy O’Byrne at (904) 461-9216 or email:

The Florida Catholic Conference is an agency of the Catholic Bishops of Florida. It speaks for the Church in matters of public policy and serves as liaison to the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. The archbishop and bishops of the seven (arch)dioceses in Florida constitute its board of directors.