Catholic Church

Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops calls for end of death penalty

Today, on the occasion of World Day Against the Death Penalty, the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops released a statement calling for the abolition of the death penalty, denouncing its effects not only on victims and others immediately affected, but also on society.

According to a press release issued by the Texas Catholic Conference, the statement also serves as the bishops’ annual address to Texas Catholics during Respect Life Month, which offers the opportunity for Catholics to “reflect on the precious gift of life and recommit ourselves to working toward a culture that truly welcomes and protects human life in our society.”

The statement reiterates Catholic Social Teaching and the writings of and comments by Pope Saint John Paul II and Pope Francis on the issue.  It notes that “the death penalty is disproportionately used on the poor, racial minorities and the vulnerable. The death penalty in and of itself perpetuates the notion that life is in some instances disposable, or can be judged of no worth.”

The Bishops write that “Our call to abolish the death penalty is not a call to deny justice. On the contrary, it is a call to the whole community to recognize that the death penalty does not fulfill justice, nor does it console the inconsolable.”

English and Spanish versions of the statement suitable for bulletin inserts.

Read coverage from the Austin American-Statesman.