Liberal and Conservative Catholics Unite on Abolition of the Death Penalty


When it comes to the thorny issues in life, such as abortion and euthanasia, both liberal and conservative groups of Catholics are often divided on their stance. However, on one issue they remain united.

Catholic editorials grounded in both left and right schools of thought, are finding common ground and coming together to oppose the death penalty.

In the wake of botched executions, most recently in Arizona, that of convicted murderer Joseph R. Wood III who lived for another two hours after receiving lethal injection, the state’s execution processes are being re-evaluated.

The problem arises in the lack of consistency in capital punishment procedures resulting in failed lethal injection attempts. More agony and discomfort than necessary is being brought to an already controversial process, making the last moments of death row inmates truly torturous.

Whether deserving of the death penalty or not, the inhumane treatment in those dying moments has caused four catholic editorials to unite in bringing awareness to the issue. National Catholic Register, National Catholic Reporter, Our Sunday Visitor and the Jesuit magazine America, bound together to release a publication titled, “Catholic Publications Call for an End to Capital Punishment,” on March 5.

The article calls for the readers of all four publications, as well as the wider catholic community, to stand together in bringing an end to the death penalty in the United States. The upcoming Supreme Court hearing, Glossip v. Gross, that will challenge current lethal injection practices, presents an opportunity for all parties to fight against what they believe is a cruel, ineffective and ultimately flawed system.

Cardinal O’Malley and Archbishop Wenski provide the common thread of thinking when they recently stated – “the death penalty devalues human life and diminishes respect for human dignity. We bishops continue to say, we cannot teach killing is wrong by killing.”


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