THURSDAY
February 22, 2001
volume 12, no. 53

Pennsylvania Bishops Issue Statement Against Death Penalty

Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua heads unanimous document against the death penalty

    PHILADELPHIA, February 21 (NE) Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia and the 16 other Catholic Bishops of Pennsylvania have issued a document that restates their opposition to the use of the death penalty in Pennsylvania. The statement, "The death penalty: choose life", clarifies their reasons for their opposition to capital punishment.

    "Increasing reliance on the death penalty", says the statement, "diminishes all of us and is a sign of growing disrespect for human life. We cannot overcome crime by simply executing criminals, nor can we restore the lives of the innocent by ending the lives of those convicted of their murders. The death penalty offers the tragic illusion that we can defend life by taking life."

    "The Catholic Church remains steadfast in its defense of life. While punishment for convicted criminals is just, vengeance is never a Christian or human rationale for inflicting the death penalty," said Cardinal Bevilacqua, commenting the document. "The Church believes that even the worst offenders possess the potential to reform their lives and make a positive contribution to society."


February 22, 2001
volume 12, no. 53
USA News
www.DailyCatholic.org
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