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May 7, 1999


In reaction to a recent statement made by Florida death row inmate Paul J. Hill, Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia, said, "Under no circumstances and no matter what the reason, the Church can never condone murder. The Church regards human life inviolable from the moment of conception until natural death. All life is sacred. All violence is abhorrent and evil."

The Cardinal reacted to comments made by Mr. Hill during an interview from prison in which he said he considers himself a martyr for murdering both a doctor who performed abortions and the doctor's clinic escort. Hill told a reporter he has no remorse for his killings in 1994; he is joyful for what he did and he would not rule out the use of chemical or biological weapons by anti-abortion activists.

Mr. Hill is not representative of the tens of millions of people who uphold the sanctity of life in all its stages. "I am greatly disturbed by Mr. Hill's heinous acts and inflammatory language," said Cardinal Bevilacqua, "His actions and statements condone violence and serve to perpetuate what our Holy Father has so often referred to as a ‘culture of death'. It is inherently hypocritical to take a life only to prove the point that lives should not be taken. Anyone who truly wants to protect the sanctity of life must protect life in all its stages."

"Hatred, ignorance and violence too often go hand in hand in our culture. We must all re-commit ourselves to truth, respect and integrity in overcoming evil," said Cardinal Bevilacqua.

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Cathy Rossi
Communications Director

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