In the Catholic Church in the United States, pastoral statements are offered by individual bishops in particular dioceses, state Catholic conferences of bishops, regional synods of bishops, or the national conference (USCCB) when seeking to apply universal church teaching to particular circumstances or issues. In the case of the death penalty, U.S. bishops have often been strong anti-death penalty advocates for persons sentenced to be executed. Often the Holy See (the Vatican) has also advocated on behalf of the condemned. The list below includes more recent papal and episcopal statements relating to Catholic teaching on the death penalty and its application to particular laws and state-sponsored executions.

Alabama Bishops Urge to not Seek Death Penalty for Sisters' Murder

In 2016, the Bishops of Mississippi and Alabama came out with a statement calling for an end to the death penalty in the state and for support to promote the dignity and sanctity of all life. At the time, there was a murder of two religious sisters which sparked nation-wide outrage and calls for capital punishment. A portion of the statement is read as follows: 

California Bishops Announce Support for Prop 62 to End the Use of the Death Penalty

In 2016, the Bishops of California came out with a statement calling for an end to the death penalty in the state and for support to promote the dignity and sanctity of all life. At the time, there were two Proposition Bills  to be decided by the voters which dealt with the status of the death penalty in California. A portion of the statement is read as follows: 

"During this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we, the Catholic Bishops of California support Proposition 62 which would end the use of the death penalty in California.

Oregon Archbishop Sample Applauds Oregon Governor's Imposed Moratorium

In 2015, Archbishop Sample came out with a statement calling for an end to the death penalty in the state and for support to promote the dignity and sanctity of all life. At the time, there was an Governor imposed moratorium on executions, effectively halting all death sentences while the Governor is in office. A portion of the statement is read as follows: 

Missouri Bishops Plead with MO Governor to Stop Executions

In 2015, the Bishops of Missouri came out with a statement calling for an end to the death penalty in the state and for support to promote the dignity and sanctity of all life. At the time, there was an increased number of executions which were taking place in Missouri rivaling other high-use states. A portion of the statement is read as follows: 

"We, the Catholic bishops of Missouri, write this open letter to express grave concern with the rapid acceleration of executions in recent months.

Kansas Bishops Voice Support for Death Penalty Repeal Legislation

In 2009, the Bishops of Kansas came out with a statement calling for an end to the death penalty in the state and for support to promote the dignity and sanctity of all life. At the time, there was a bill being debated in the legislature which sought to repeal the death penalty. A portion of the statement is read as follows:

"We, the Catholic bishops of the state of Kansas, wish to register our strong support for Senate Bill 208, which would abolish the death penalty in our state.

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