“We are disappointed and surprised by the state’s haste to set execution dates for six men on death row at the same time a federal court is reviewing Oklahoma’s lethal injection protocol to determine if it is constitutional."
State Catholic Conference Statements
March 24, 2021
Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington and Bishop Barry C. Knestout of the Diocese of Richmond issued the following statement on Governor Northam’s signature of legislation abolishing Virginia’s death penalty:
The eight Catholic bishops serving Maryland are urging President Donald Trump to stop the planned federal execution of Dustin Higgs, scheduled for Jan. 15, 2021.
Dustin Lee Honken was convicted in 2004 of the horrific acts of killing five people, including two children. He is scheduled to be executed on July 17, 2020. We ask that you commute Mr. Honken’s sentence, as well as the sentences of others to be executed this summer, from death to life without the possibility of parole.
Thursday, October 11, 2018, the Washington State Catholic Conference released a statement that affirmed and celebrated the Washington Supreme Court ruling that the death penalty is unconstitutional.
“We applaud the unanimous state Supreme Court decision issued today finding the death penalty unconstitutional,” said Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle. “The Catholic Church’s consistent belief is that every human life is sacred from conception until natural death – it is this principle that has energized our efforts for decades to abolish the death penalty.”
In an August 9 letter to Governor Rick Scott on behalf of the bishops of Florida, Michael Sheedy, executive director, appealed to the governor to commute Jimenez' death sentence to a life sentence without parole.
The Catholic Bishops serving in Nebraska, Archbishop George J. Lucas of Omaha, Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, and Bishop Joseph G. Hanefeldt of Grand Island, issued a statement in response to a clarification on the Church's teaching on the death penalty issued Thursday morning by the Vatican.
Gov. Bruce Rauner today called for the reinstatement of the death penalty for individuals convicted of mass shootings or the fatal shooting of a police officer.
Faith is not a light which scatters all our darkness, but a lamp which guides our steps in the night and suffices for the journey. – Pope Francis
“The harm to persons by the intentional criminal acts of others can be long lasting. Crime victims, survivors, and their families need to know they are not alone. Local Church communities will walk with them providing support and prayers on the road to healing and restoration.
“Healing is a process aimed at restoring a sense of physical safety, security and their sense of self.