Article Published


Breaking News | Thursday, October 13, 2022

Statement from Archbishop Thomas Wenski on Nikolas Cruz

Archdiocese of Miami

9401 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami Shores, FL 33138

A sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole is a severe and just punishment that also will allow Nikolas Cruz to continue to reflect on the grave harm he caused. While not excusing his actions, it is clear that multiple and systemic breakdowns within family services, police, and the public school system failed him and the rest of us as well. Seemingly nobody recognized the inadequacies in Mr. Cruz’s life or the state of his mental health. His numerous threats of violence that preceded the mass murder were addressed inadequately, if at all.

Willful murder is a heinous crime; it cries to God for justice. Yet, while God certainly punished Cain, history’s first murderer, God did not require Cain’s life for having spilt Abel’s blood. (cf. Gn 4:15). Human dignity — that of the convicted as well as our own — is best served by not resorting to the extreme and unnecessary punishment of capital punishment. Modern society has the means to protect itself without the death penalty.

There is no question that Mr. Cruz’s actions were heinous. The 17 victims who died are forever gone to us; and those who were wounded still struggle to recover fully - both physically and emotionally. Their families and all those who fearfully witnessed this abhorrent act of bloodshed will forever be scarred by it.

Comments from readers

Aken Cabrera - 10/16/2022 11:07 AM
It is truly mind boggling to see the pattern regarding the was the alleged pro-lifers, like Gustavo hide behind the keyboard by only publishing their first name (or in the case of facebook) only put up pictures of saints and angels, just to name a few. Furthermore, these are the same people who cry out from the top of their lungs how Pope Francis is allegedly a heretic or communist, yet, Donald Trump was sent by God. Gustavo, for your information, most mass shootings in this country have been perpetrated by men with their last names, other than Cruz. Would you also call for their execution, or would you agree with thee argument of mental health?
Miriam Maria Horta - 10/15/2022 08:17 PM
"The new evangelization calls for followers of Christ who are unconditionally pro-life: who will proclaim, celebrate and serve the Gospel of life in every situation. A sign of hope is the increasing recognition that the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil. . . . I renew the appeal I made . . . for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary." —Pope John Paul II Papal Mass, St. Louis, Missouri, January 27, 1999
Gustavo - 10/13/2022 11:04 PM
The Roman Catechism of Trent - 1566 This catechism was issued by order of Saint Pope Pius V in 1566 and was the universal catechism in use until 1992. Execution of Criminals: "Another kind of lawful slaying belongs to the civil authorities, to whom is entrusted power of life and death, by the legal and judicious exercise of which they punish the guilty and protect the innocent. The just use of this power, far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this Commandment which prohibits murder. The end of the Commandment is the preservation and security of human life. Now the punishments inflicted by the civil authority, which is the legitimate avenger of crime, naturally tend to this end, since they give security to life by repressing outrage and violence. Hence these words of David: In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land, that I might cut off all the workers of iniquity from the city of the Lord."
Gustavo - 10/13/2022 10:50 PM
Whosoever shall shed man's blood; his blood shall be shed: for man was made to the image of God. Genesis 9:6 The Church has **always** taught that the death penalty is permissible. Pray that the victims and their families. Justice was not served.

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