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Miami Catholics Holding Prayer Vigil for Death Row Inmate


| Posted 12/10/12 at 2:38 PM


MIAMI — The Archdiocese of Miami will hold a prayer vigil for a Florida death row inmate and former policeman ahead of his scheduled Dec. 11 execution.

“Recourse to the death penalty is both cruel and unnecessary,” Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami said Dec. 7. “Modern society has the means of protecting itself.  We do not make the case that killing is wrong by killing.”

Manuel Pardo Jr., 56, is a former police officer from Sweetwater, Fla. He admitted to the 1986 murders of alleged drug dealers, a confidential informant and two women who he said owed him money. He was convicted in 1988 after his admission.

Father Christopher Marino, the rector of Miami’s St. Mary Cathedral, will hold a Dec. 11 prayer vigil at the cathedral at 6 p.m.

Archbishop Wenski cited Blessed John Paul II’s comments at a 1999 papal Mass in Missouri that called for “followers of Christ who are unconditionally pro-life.”

“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 have done great evil,” the Pope said.

In August 2011, Archbishop Wenski said that willful murder is “a heinous crime” that “cries to God for justice.” However, he said a convicted murderer on death row is still a person with human dignity.