News Release: New Organization Formed to Educate Catholics and Oppose Nebraska Death Penalty

October 21, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Alex Kelly
October 21, 2016
(402) 641-9593

NEWS RELEASE
New Organization Formed to Educate Catholics and Oppose Nebraska Death Penalty
Catholic Mobilizing Network Nebraska Debuts New Online Ad

LINCOLN, NE – The Catholic Mobilizing Network Nebraska, in cooperation with Nebraska’s three Bishops and the Nebraska Catholic Conference, today launched a new online ad campaign featuring an Omaha priest encouraging all Nebraskans, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, to vote to RETAIN the end of Nebraska’s death penalty.

According to Alex Kelly, Nebraska State Coordinator for CMN Nebraska, the group was formed in cooperation with the national Catholic Mobilizing Network to help educate the Catholic electorate about the Church’s teaching on the death penalty.

“CMN Nebraska is working in close collaboration with our Bishops and the Nebraska Catholic Conference in urging all Nebraskans to vote RETAIN on Referendum No. 426 on November 8th,” Kelly said.

Tom Venzor, executive director of the Nebraska Catholic Conference, said at a recent news conference announcing the statewide campaign; “The bishops and the Nebraska Catholic Conference are undertaking significant efforts of public education to be sure that Catholics across the state understand the Catholic teaching on the death penalty and will be encouraged to vote Retain the repeal of the death penalty.”

“In addition to this powerful ad, we are mobilizing Catholics across the state, informing them of Church teaching that the death penalty is not necessary to protect society, and as Nebraskans we should move from feelings of revenge and vengeance to mercy and compassion, even for those among us who have committed the most heinous of acts,” Kelly said.

“CMN Nebraska is distributing materials to every parish in Nebraska, our priests are speaking from their pulpits, we’ve undertaken a significant social media campaign, and next week will host a series of appearances by a death row exoneree and a murder victim family member at all three Catholic dioceses across the state,” Kelly noted.

Text of the online ad:
I’m Father Craig Loecker, and I have been a priest for 24 years.
We as Christians believe in forgiveness. We believe in mercy. We believe in redemption. Jesus himself practiced that.
Pope Francis has encouraged all of us to be against the death penalty.
In society we often think about revenge, an eye for an eye. But Jesus was radical. He loved those who, who nailed him to the cross. He forgave them. And he challenges us to live that way of life.

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CMN Nebraska is associated with the Catholic Mobilizing Network to End Use of the Death Penalty in the United States. Working in close collaboration with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and living the mission of the Congregation of St. Joseph, The Catholic Mobilizing Network proclaims the Church’s pro-life teaching and prepares Catholics for informed involvement in the public debate to end the death penalty and promote restorative justice.

Paid for by Catholic Mobilizing Network-Nebraska, 2405 North 50th Street, #4, Lincoln, NE 68504