The lives of those guilty of the most heinous crimes are still sacred in the eyes of God
Over the years our Brothers have supported social justice efforts, and a number of our Brothers have engaged directly in working for the human rights of people who are on the margins of society. As far as the death penalty in MD is concerned, Brothers John Mahoney and Bro. Jerry O’Leary have participated in a weekly vigil for over seven years, and attended hearings at the state capital for the abolishment of the death penalty in MD which happened in 2013. After getting feedback from our Brothers in November, 2014, our General Superior authorized Brother Jerry O’Leary to send the Catholic Mobilizing Network this brief description of the Xaverian Brothers and our statement against the death penalty.
We Xaverian Brothers are an international Catholic religious congregation founded in Belgium in 1839 by Theodore James Ryken who was inspired by the missionary spirit of St. Francis Xavier. We commit ourselves to a life of prayer by which we aspire to fall in love with God, and to be impelled by that love to be of service to others, particularly the poor and marginalized, using whatever gifts and talents we have.
We Xaverian Brothers oppose the death penalty and will work, in whatever ways we can, for its abolition in all of its forms. We recognize the violent nature of the world in which we live and we have compassion for those who are the victims of violence; but we believe that the death penalty perpetuates the ever growing cycle of violence and flies in the face or our belief as Catholic Christians that all life is sacred, and that the lives of those guilty of the most heinous crimes are still sacred in the eyes of God.
In addition to the death penalty itself we are also concerned with how it is administered – its sometimes arbitrary nature, and the fact that death row populations are disproportionately poor, black, and Hispanic.