Catholic Priest, Linus Clovis, has asserted in an exclusive interview with the Times that for some crimes, capital punishment is the only option.
“This is my opinion – nobody else’s,” Clovis declared while noting that the church in the Caribbean has adopted the position that capital punishment should not be exercised.
The Clergyman made the remarks while expressing concern about crime and the “horrendous” rape of the elderly as investigations continue here into the burglary, rape and homicide involving 76-year old victim – Rosa Rosemond of Marisule.
In voicing support for capital punishment for some crimes, the Catholic Priest told the Times he was not looking at the issue from a standpoint of vindictiveness.
“I am looking at it as retribution,” Clovis said.
He expressed the view that the persons committing the crimes, until brought face to face with their mortality, do not appreciate that there is a God on the “other side” to whom they have to answer.
“I think when you are faced with your mortality – when you know that you have only a week, two days, three days, it gives you an opportunity to repent,” Clovis explained.
He referred to the ‘good thief’ who was about to be executed along with Jesus Christ.
“He recognized that his life did not match up to Christ who was suffering patiently and unjustly and he said ‘We – have you no fear of God?’ were his first words, speaking to his brother thief : ‘we are only paying for what we have done wrong; this man is innocent’,” Clovis stated.
The Catholic Priest asserted that there has been a lot of misunderstanding regarding the church’s position on capital punishment.
He explained that the church has not and cannot condemn capital punishment because it is something sanctioned in scripture.
Clovis observed that what happened was that Pope John Paul had said because of the violence, particularly the murder of children in the wombs of their mothers and the devaluation of human life especially of the innocent, the stage was reached where it was possible to incarcerate or find alternative punishment rather than capital punishment.
According to Clovis, John Paul was referring to developed countries which can afford to incarcerate.
“When you come to developing countries and the developing world, can we afford to incarcerate so many criminals when our children do not have the basic necessities to even go to school?” The local Clergyman said.
Clovis presented a number of reasons for the current crime situation locally and offered several suggestions to deal with the problem.
“Personally I think that unless something is really done – and it must begin spiritually, we are going to see even worse crimes,” he told the Times.