U.S. Catholics Speak out in Opposition to Restart of Federal Executions

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On December 2, 2019, the U.S. Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to lift a preliminary injunction on federal executions after a 16-year hiatus. The injunction has temporarily halted the federal executions scheduled for December 2019 and January 2020.

Following this request, this week the Catholic Mobilizing Network, the national Catholic organization working to end the death penalty and promote restorative justice, delivered a petition to President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr opposing the planned restart of federal executions. The petition was signed by nearly 3,000 U.S. Catholics, including prominent clergy and Church leaders. Catholics join law enforcement officers, judges, victims' family members and others in speaking out against the government's efforts to execute federal inmates.

The Catholic Church's opposition to capital punishment is well established. St. John Paul II stated in his 1999 homily in St. Louis that "the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil." In August 2018, Pope Francis and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith revised the Catechism of the Catholic Church to call capital punishment "inadmissible" in all cases "because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person." (CCC2267)

December 12, 2019 - 1:42pm
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