AN AMERICAN bishop has told churchgoers that the man accused of murdering their priest should not face the death penalty.
Bishop Paul Bootkoski of Metuchen, New Jersey, told members of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Whitehouse Station, that it would be wrong to take the life of the killer of Fr Florian Gall.
The priest was among as many as 40 people allegedly murdered by registered nurse Charles Cullen, 43, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Cullen is charged with giving Fr Gall a fatal dose of digoxin, a medication that slows the heart rate.
Fr Gall died June 28 last year of heart failure in Somerset Medical Centre, where Cullen was working at the time.
In a homily, Bishop Bootkoski told parishioners that he had come to “see how we can console each other”, adding: “We have to be here for one another.” He said: “God is the author of life ... this man [Cullen] is accused of playing God of deciding for himself who will live and die. That same thinking has found its way into our laws, particularly with this new law just passed that will, in effect, allow human cloning.” Taking Cullen’s life is not what the church now teaches, the bishop said. “Is that the Gospel message?” he asked.