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The fight against killing: reflections and activities

Michele Frankeni  |  02 August 2018

illustration by Becky XieRead The fight against killing in the 2018 Winter edition of Australian Catholics and take part in the various reflections and activities.


  • What year did Julian become involved in the case of Van Tuong Nguyen?
  • What was Nguyen’s crime?
  • What is Reprieve?
  • What is the position of Pope St John Paul II and his two successors on capital punishment?
  • What are Julian McMahon’s objections to the death penalty?


Hold a mock trial to decide the fate of the death penalty. Does your class abolish it or support it in certain cases? Set up a judge and jury (or have the class as a jury) and appoint a couple of people to argue for and a couple against the death penalty.

See Catholic Australia for some appropriate links and check out Reprieve Australia. Other interesting links are the Pope’s message from last year that the death penalty is contrary to the Gospel or the BBC’s arguments in favour of and against the death penalty.

Write up your judgment.

For younger students

Have a discussion about punishment and mercy. If you do something wrong, do you get punished? Why are you punished? How does that make you feel? Was it a fair punishment? What do you think would have been an appropriate punishment.

Adults get punished for crimes. Can you think of any crimes? Should the people who did these crimes be punished? How would you punish them? Why do you think that’s a good or appropriate punishment?

Talk about mercy and what it means. Would you give mercy to those people who committed the crimes you were just talking about? What sort of mercy and why?

What would Jesus do?


Illustration: Becky Xie


Topic tags: valuesandmoraldecision-making, socialjustice-global, volunteeringandtakingaction

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