The Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) is an association of the leadership of men in religious and apostolic institutes in the United States. CMSM has formal ties with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the National Assembly of Religious Brothers and other national agencies. CMSM represents U.S. male religious and apostolic communities before a number of national and international bodies, including the Congregation of Religious and Secular Institutes of the Holy See, which officially recognizes CMSM as the national representative body for men in religious and apostolic communities in the United States.
Death Penalty Statement (August 2000)
CMSM remains committed to opposing the death penalty and informing members about resources, projects and opportunities for advocacy. In order to expand our efforts, CMSM resolves:
- To join with the rising chorus of voices across the United States in calling for a moratorium in the application of the death penalty.
- To work in collaboration with LCWR, the U.S. Bishops, and other organizations to promote legislation that will lessen the profound injustices in the application of the death penalty in the United States, including advocacy for funds for providing adequate counsel in death penalty trials and appeals, assurance of fair and effective appellate procedures after trail, legislation like the “Innocence Protection Act” that limits the use capital punishment, better use of the technological advances made in law enforcement that can ensure more accurate evidence (e.g. DNA testing), all with the goal of lessening the injustices in our legal system that disproportionately applies the death penalty to the poor and members of racial and cultural minorities.
- To encourage its members to use the website and other forms of communication in its continuing program of formal protest of all executions to the highest appropriate authority in each state of the United States where they are finally scheduled. CMSM members are encouraged to follow up on these CMSM protests with their own letters of protest.
- To reemphasize that this advocacy plan must never be understood or interpreted as any lessening of CMSM’s abhorrence of the death penalty as an absolute, final, and irremediable sanction in our human and fallible legal system.
- To affirm and proclaim the profound concerns that John Paul II and the U.S. bishops have expressed about the use of the death penalty in the United States.